Worldwide sales of storage software have continued their strong trend with a 4.2 per cent jump in the third quarter, according to analyst IDC.
Biggest winners over the quarter were market leaders EMC and Veritas. But Computer Associates (CA) and IBM both lost market share over the previous quarter.
"Storage software is becoming an increasingly critical component in enterprise storage strategies, creating opportunities for independent software vendors, server suppliers and storage specialists," John McArthur, IDC's group vice president, said.
In total, storage sales in 2003 have so far risen 11.4 per cent. Third-quarter revenue was $1.65bn (£944m) in what is traditionally a sluggish period.
The largest segment was storage replication, up nearly eight per cent in the third quarter. Storage resource management grew 3.6 per cent, while backup and archive - the biggest sector - grew 2.7 per cent.
Simon Stokes, general sales manager at Ideal Enterprise Solutions, which supplies both EMC and Veritas products, said: "The underlying message is that enterprise storage management software is very much on the up in the short to medium term.
"There is a more mature thinking through of the day-to-day business. People are rightly getting more concerned with recovering the data rather than just that they have written it."
Stokes added that there was a burgeoning interest in management, with people buying software to get more capacity and efficiency out of the hardware, so the storage resource management figures were no surprise. "It's a more joined-up approach," he said.
Among the top five vendors, EMC increased its revenue by 7.9 per cent over the previous quarter, adding almost one per cent to its market share at 26.1 per cent on sales of $431m. Arch-rival Veritas added 5.4 per cent to its revenues, giving it 20.7 per cent.
But there was little to choose between third and fourth placed CA and IBM (8.8 and 8.1 per cent market share respectively), which achieved negligible revenue improvement. Hewlett Packard closed the gap achieving a seven per cent share.
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