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 user 2003-12-24 at 9:30:00 am Views: 67
  • #4342

    Data-Storage Software Sales Rose 11.4% Through 3Q

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Sales of software used by businesses to store and backup data rose to $4.7 billion in the first three quarters of this year, a gain of 11.4% from the same period in 2002, according to a survey by market researcher International Data Corp.

    Over that time, sales of data-storage hardware slipped 2%, more evidence that technology managers are shifting resources from hardware to software as budget pressures ease. “Software is kind of leading the recovery here,” said John McArthur, a vice president at IDC.

    Major vendors of storage hardware have pushed to diversify their offerings as the price of hard disks and chips continues to slide.

    In the survey, the most substantial growth was seen among products that configure, provision and monitor giant arrays of hard drives and the network gear that connects them, a catch-all category known as storage resource management software. Its sales climbed 19.1% in the three-quarter period.

    Bill North, IDC’s director of storage software research, says more customers are turning to storage resource management software because they’re storing more data and the need for automated tools to replace manual intervention is becoming more acute.

    Sequentially, storage software sales rose 4.2% from the second quarter to the third – a surprising increase since the technology world is habitually more quiet during the third quarter’s summer months. IDC doesn’t provide a quarter- to-quarter comparison with 2002 because the researcher only began tracking the category’s quarterly sales in the fourth quarter of last year.

    McArthur said it was noteworthy that sharp gains in revenue were posted by three companies of different stripes: Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ News) , a vendor of hardware, software and consulting services; EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC News) , a storage-only vendor; and Veritas Software Corp. (NasdaqNM: VRTS News) , a software vendor.

    “All classes of suppliers are participating,” he said. “You’re not locked out of this because you chose a particular business model.”

    EMC sells the most storage software, according to the survey, followed by Veritas and Computer Associates International Inc. (NYSE: CA News) . Much of EMC’s software, however, is bundled with its hardware devices.