The increasingly pivotal role of storage in enterprise IT infrastructures helped the global storage software market to grow by almost a quarter year on year in the first three months of 2004.
According to analyst IDC, total revenue for the sector reached $1.85bn, representing six months of consecutive year-over-year growth.
"Companies demand increasingly reliable, available and efficient storage infrastructures," said John McArthur, group vice president at IDC, in a statement.
"With continued constraints on staff, data centres are leveraging storage software to achieve their goals. The growth that we are seeing in this already substantial market is testimony to the pivotal role that storage software plays in corporate IT."
Twelve months ago, McArthur warned users that simply buying more disk was no longer a viable strategy to cope with burgeoning demand for storage space.
The new study found that the storage resource management market posted the largest gain of the storage software market segments - at 32.3 per cent annual growth - while the backup and archive software market continued to represent the biggest market segment, growing 22.0 per cent year over year.
The storage replication software and file system software markets also enjoyed strong results in the first quarter, with 18.1 per cent and 12.4 per cent year-over-year growth respectively.
IDC's market research indicated that, although each of the top five vendors posted double-digit year-over-year growth, EMC, Computer Associates and Veritas performed better than the overall market in the quarter.
EMC (the combined results of EMC and Legato) led the overall market with 30.1 per cent revenue share, gaining 2.7 points when compared with the first quarter of 2003.
Veritas maintained its second position with 22.8 per cent revenue share, followed by Computer Associates with 9.5 per cent.
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