IT disasters drive corporate archive software sales

The demand for replication software is starting to slow down, but sales in archiving software has grown sharply, driven by concern among chief information officers over recent incidents, according to market research firm IDC, which this week published its Quarterly Storage Software Tracker report.

Overall, worldwide revenues from storage software licence and maintenance fees were US$2.8 billion during the third quarter of 2007, up 9.8 per cent from the same period in 2006.

“When I talk to CIOs, the themes that I hear are business continuity, disaster recovery, information risk management and security,” said Laura DuBois, IDC’s program director for storage e software. “Pretty much everyone I talked to had some kind of incident in the past, whether it’s a brownout or failed audit or some system in the remote office going down and not being able to get it online in the right amount of time. There’s always some issue somewhere.”

The market for archiving software grew by 13 per cent between the third quarter of 2006 and the same period in 2007, according to the IDC report.

One “formidable” product in this market is Enterprise Vault, manufactured by Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec Corp., DuBois said.

Enteprise Vault includes a mailbox management feature, designed to automate the backup of e-mails for companies using Microsoft Corp.’s Exchange and IBM Corp.’s Lotus Domino servers, and to retain copies of all emails without exceeding the quotas and message size restrictions of messaging servers.

Symantec commanded 17 per cent of the storage software market, while the leader was Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp., with 25.6 per cent market share. EMC’s archiving software line includes Celerra FileMover, Centera FileArchiver and DatabaseXtender. Network Appliance Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage vendor, was in fourth place with 10.9 per cent market share, but saw its sales of storage software grow 31.1 per cent year over year.

“NetApp has done very well in the replication segment,” DuBois said. “They’ve been a major factor in the growth in the overall market.” NetApp’s product line includes SnapMirror, which sends changed data blocks to a disaster recovery storage sites and can mirror storage from Fiber Channel to ATA systems.

Other major vendors in the storage market include Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM Corp., with 12.4 per cent market share, Islandia, N.Y.-based CA Inc., with 4.3 per cent market share and Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP Co., also with 4.3 per cent of the market.

IDC’s revenue figures include licensing costs and maintenance fees but do not include any spending on integration or consulting.

The data protection market started to cool off during the third quarter, as users are reluctant to replace the systems they already have, DuBois said.

“Backup applications tend to be very sticky,” she said. “It causes a significant amount of pain to disrupt and move in a new product so once you have one in place you tend to keep it for a while.”

Although the survey did not track continuous data protection (CDP) products, DuBois said the reputation of this technology has suffered partly over confusion of what CDP is.

“The innovation in continuous data protection by and large came from small startups and emerging companies which have largely now been acquired,” DuBois said. “It provides shorter recovery points but in the last couple of year there’s a lot of buzz, which can be offputting users.” She added confusion over CDP “probably stymied adoption early on but long term I think that’s where the market’s going to go.”

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