Robust Times Ahead for Storage Management

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Tech spending may be stagnating, but enterprises aren’t cutting back on storage management software (SMS).

The market hit $10.6 billion last year, a 12.2 percent spike from 2006, and is expected to surpass $11 billion in 2008, according to a new Gartner report on trends and vendor leadership in the SMS market.

Greater demand for backup and recovery technology, as well as data replication tools, are propelling the worldwide SMS market that is expected to have an 8 percent growth rate over the next five years.

“Overall, storage resource management is a healthy market, with double digit growth,” Alan Dayley, research director for the software market at Gartner (NYSE: IT), told “Deduplication and virtualization technologies are definitely having an impact as well,” he said.

In 2007 backup and recovery software grew 11.4 percent to $2.6 billion from $2.3 billion in 2006.

Storage vendors are competing for greater market share in what’s clearly a field of opportunity. Enterprise Storage Group predicts just 37 percent of enterprises have some type of SRM technology in place.

The fastest-growing SMS segment, spurred on by increasing regulatory mandates, is hierarchical storage management (HSM) and archiving. In 2004 it accounted for 346 million of SMS revenue and is expected to hit 1.2 billion this year — a 29 percent growth rate, the survey reported.

HSM is about storing data according to rules based on age or space availability.

Among the powerful players in storage, the top five accounted for more than 74 percent of the overall market in 2007, with NetApp experiencing the strongest growth with a 35.5 percent increase from 2006, and IBM attaining 29.3 percent growth year over year.

EMC (NYSE: EMC) led the 2007 market with 26 percent share.

Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) followed in second with 18 percent, while IBM held 13 percent and NetApp 10 percent.

The research also indicates enterprises may have finally changed their storage management philosophy, according to Dayley.

Instead of throwing more disk capacity into play, or trying to gain better resource control by limiting user allocation, IT appears to be understanding that good storage management is needed to save money.

“I think they’re finally looking at it and saying how can I better manage this with rules and how can they use what they have more effectively,” Dayley said.

Acquisitions and startups

Gartner expects more activity to occur in the HSM and archiving space, with big players looking to acquire small e-mail-, file- and database-archiving companies.

In April IBM (NYSE: IBM) bought dedupe player Diligent, and last week Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ)debuted new disk-based backup systems with dedupe capabilities.

Whether the new HP StorageWorks backup and virtual library products will help HP (NYSE: HP), currently fifth in the market, grab more than its current 6 percent market share remains to be seen.

Startups such as Ocarina are emerging in a crowded SRM space already jammed packed with big names such as NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP), which introduced its first high-end dedupe system in March.

Article courtesy of

Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl is an experienced technology journalist who has served as a senior editor, reporter, writer, and blogger for InformationWeek, Investors Business Daily, CNET, and Information Security Magazine, as well as other media outlets.

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