The storage software market capped a strong 2004 with 15% year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter, driven by data protection and compliance demands, according to IDC.
The storage software market grew more than $1 billion last year to $7.9 billion, a 16.1% growth rate, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Storage Software Tracker.
"The storage software market ended on a very positive note, continuing its momentum of double-digit growth," stated Bill North, research director for storage software at IDC. "This pattern is fueled by the increased business investment in data protection and management, as well as a greater awareness of compliance requirements."
EMC's software strategy continued to pay off, with 25% revenue growth in the fourth quarter and nearly 27% for the year, beating the other top vendors handily (see tables below).
EMC led the overall storage software market in the fourth quarter with 31.7% revenue share, gaining the greatest year-over-year market share among the top five vendors. Veritas — in the process of being acquired by Symantec — maintained second place with a 21.7% revenue share, growing 11.4% year-over-year. CA and IBM finished in a statistical tie for the third position, with 8.8% and 8.2% revenue share, respectively. HP rounded out the top 5 with 6.6% revenue share for the quarter. EMC and IBM posted the strongest quarterly results among the top five.
For the full year, EMC led the overall market with 30.9% revenue share, followed by Veritas with a 21.9% revenue share.
The storage resource management market posted the strongest fourth quarter gain, with 19.7% year-over-year growth. The back-up and archive software market continued to represent the largest functional market, growing 9.5% year over year. The storage replication software and file system software markets grew 17.2% and 14.2% year over year in the fourth quarter, respectively.
"The strong growth rate for storage resource management is a result of the need to manage the increasing scale and complexity of storage systems as well as the heterogeneous storage environment," North said. "As traditional point-in-time backup and storage replication move closer together, these combined markets have contributed to the market's healthy growth in 2004. IDC expects the overall market to continue in this direction over the next few years."