The worldwide storage management market is on an upswing, with revenues set to rise to $21.3 billion in 2005 from $7.9 billion last year, projects Aberdeen Group Inc., a Boston-based information technology market research firm. Storage management spending includes revenues received for software that enhances the efficiency, availability, security and manageability of storage systems. It is one of the fastest- growing storage market segments, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 27.7 percent.

Data protection, which ensures the availability of data through duplication, is the largest data management spending sector, with revenues expected to total $3.8 billion in 2002, up from $2.9 billion last year. Data protection spending will reach $7.1 billion by 2005, Aberdeen predicts.

The next most-active area is data placement, with spending expected to increase from $2.5 billion in 2001 to $3.2 billion in 2002 and reach $6.5 billion by 2005. Data placement involves processes which physically, logically and virtually move and place data on networked storage media and retrieve it.

North America is the largest global storage management market, accounting for $3.4 billion, or 43.1 percent, of global spending last year, Aberdeen says. It is followed by Europe, which generated $2 billion in spending in 2001, or 26.1 percent of the world's total. Next is the Asia/Pacific Rim, with $1.7 billion in spending, or 22.1 percent of the market.

Contributing to higher North American revenues is the more extensive use of complex storage networking technologies in the United States, Aberdeen notes. The technologies require a greater degree of investment in the newest storage management applications, such as storage resource management which monitors and manages such capabilities as data collection, capacity planning, asset management, continuity reporting and operational management.

"While the total amount of storage space sold continues to increase, the revenues from selling storage systems are not growing at nearly the same rate due to the commoditization of the raw capacity," Aberdeen notes in its "Worldwide Storage Management: Forecast and Analysis 2002-2005" report. "However, storage management software and services are not only being deployed more widely than they were before, but they continue to maintain healthier margins and a variety of strongly differentiated products."

Spurred by this increasing global interest, storage management software and services will account for 22.6 percent of the world's storage spending by 2005, up from just 15.4 percent today, Aberdeen notes.

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