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Dell Technologies remains the backup appliance champ, but not without some setbacks.
Sales of purpose-built backup appliances (PBBA) dipped 4.1 percent on a year-over-year basis to $991.8 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016, reported IDC. The downturn follows a 7.9 percent slide in Q3 2016 to $737.5 million.
Non-mainframe, open PBBA systems revenue was $903.5 million in Q4 2016 , a $4.5 percent decrease. Mainframe PBBA sales experienced a slight increase of 0.6 percent.
"The PBBA market finished the fourth quarter on a decline, following a similar trend as the external enterprise storage systems market," noted Jingwen Li, senior research analyst of Storage Systems at IDC, in a statement. "End-users continue to search for capabilities beyond traditional PBBA offerings, such as cloud enablement/tiering, data management, and DR/recovery."
To cope, vendors are exploring their options beyond hardware. "As a result, PBBA vendors have shifted their focus from commodity hardware to investing in software, which will better help them meet the demands of the market," Li added.
Demand for backup storage capacity isn't waning, however. PBBA vendors shipped a total of 1.2 exabytes in Q4 2016, a 9.2 percent year-over-year increase.
Dell Technologies led the market with sales of $585.8 million during the quarter and nearly 60 percent of the market. However, PBBA revenue dropped 18.6 percent compared to Q4 2015.
Second place Symentec/Veritas saw its sales jump 31 percent to $163.9 million. (Although they are now separate companies, IDC groups them for year-on-year comparison purposes.) IBM took third place with $67.7 million, a whopping 62.6 percent increase. IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) round out the top five with sales $44.5 million and $22.9 million, respectively.
In line with IDC's observations, last fall HPE announced its new Adaptive Backup and Recovery Suite. The bundle includes HPE Storage Optimizer, Data Protector and Backup Navigator along with file analytics capabilities that enable organizations to automate and optimize their data protection environments.
"Organizations are under immense pressure to manage and protect growing volumes of data that is outpacing their IT budgets. With the HPE Adaptive Backup and Recovery Suite, IT departments can leverage analytics to optimize data management and protect what matters most while driving efficiency, system reliability and compliance across their environments," said HPE's David Jones, senior vice president and general manager of Information Management and Governance," in an Oct. 17 announcement.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.