The storage software market recorded its fifth successive quarter of year-on-year growth at the end of 2010 with all five of the top-ranked players increasing sales during the quarter, according to estimates published on Monday.
The storage software market was worth $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, a jump of 10.6% from the same period in 2009, IDC said.
The largest single vendor was EMC, which notched up storage software revenue of $866 million, up 18% from a year earlier. Symantec ranked second but achieved just 0.1% growth, at $543 million.
Symantec's inability to increase its sales enabled IBM to close the gap on its rival, but the two companies remain separated by a wide margin. IBM came in third at $443 million. NetApp followed in fourth place at $312 million and Hitachi was ranked fifth at $148 million. Hitachi achieved the strongest growth of the top five companies, managing to increase sales 47% in the quarter, said IDC.
The storage software market has been growing since late 2009. For the full year of 2010, the market expanded by 10.3% to $12.7 billion and reversed a 3.2% contraction in 2009, said IDC.
"The storage software market is in the midst of a sustained recovery, which is partly driven by new product innovations, and partly by a strong desire to address inefficiencies related to storing, protecting, and managing corporate data," said Eric Sheppard, research director with IDC's Storage Software program, in a statement.
Within the segment, storage infrastructure software recorded the strongest growth at 23.6% last year. The data protection and recovery market remains the largest single sector. It was worth $4.4 billion last year, accounting for more than a third of the entire software storage industry, said IDC.
"A considerable increase in storage software designed to enable automated storage tiering, coupled with a continued market trend of addressing aging, inefficient storage deployments were two important drivers of market growth during the quarter," said Sheppard.
(IDC is a subsidiary of International Data Group, the parent company of IDG News Service.)