The storage market increased by 17.7 percent in the quarter, compared to the same period a year ago, reaching $1.78 billion in total revenue, International Data Corp. said. Year-over-year revenue increased by 8 percent to $6.3 billion from $5.8 billion in 2002.
The growth figures reflect more corporate spending as the economy improves worldwide, as well as the growing need for advanced data protection as the result of the increasing number of attacks from viruses and hackers, IDC analyst Bill North said. Also, as electronic data has become more critical to a company's business, so has the need to protect the information against system failures caused by buggy software or major power outages.
While the need for storage software has grown, so has the quality of the products released by vendors.
"Two years ago, storage networking was a science project," North said. "Now it's become mainstream."
In addition, regulations governing data storage for consumer privacy protection or the movement of financial data have stiffened, driving the need for compliance software, North said. Storing email that can be searched and retrieved, for example, are no longer options.
All of the major storage software segments posted double-digit revenue growth in the fourth quarter, IDC said. The back-up and archive market increased 17.6 percent, storage replication, 14.7 percent; and storage resource management, 16.2 percent.
For the full year, the storage resource management market posted the strongest growth of 11.3 percent, followed by storage replication at 9.5 percent.
EMC led the overall market in the fourth quarter with a 31.7 percent revenue share, 2 points higher than a year ago. Veritas was second with 21.9 percent, followed by Computer Associates, 9.8 percent; IBM, 8.3 percent; and Hewlett-Packard, 7.9 percent.
For the full year, the ranking remained the same. Revenue shares were EMC, 30.7 percent; Veritas, 21.3 percent; Computer Associates, 9.3 percent; IBM, 8.6 percent; and HP, 7.9 percent.
HP posted the highest revenue growth in the fourth quarter and the full year at 28 percent and 45 percent, respectively.