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IBM, NetApp Post Major Storage Software Growth

Storage software continued to blossom in the third quarter of 2006, racking up $2.5 billion in revenues, or 10.7 percent greater than the $2.1 billion the market tallied in Q3 2005, IDC said today.

While the positioning of the top handful of storage vendors remained largely unchanged, IBM  and Network Appliance  grew sales a combined 100 percent to take share from top-two vendors EMC  and Symantec .

EMC, which acquired replication and backup software specialist Kashya Technologies this year, continued to lead the market with 28.5 percent revenue share in Q3 2006.

EMC's share was down from 29.1 percent from the same period a year ago but still managed to grow share 10.3 percent to $699 million.

Symantec, which vaulted into the storage market by buying Veritas Software last year, took the second position with 17.6 percent of the market, down from 20 percent in Q3 2005. Symantec sales totaled $433 million, up only 1.4 percent from Q3 2005.

IBM and Network Appliance, which help each other's causes in a united network-attached storage (NAS) front against rivals, both took share at EMC and Symantec's expense.

No. 3 IBM, which had 9.4 percent of the market this time last year, garnered 12.3 percent in Q3 2006 on sales of $301 million -- a 39 percent jump.

NetApp finished No. 4 with 9.4 percent revenue share, up from 6.9 percent from last year, on sales of $231 million -- a huge 61 percent swing.

CA and HP rounded out the top 5 with 5.3 percent and 4.9 percent share, respectively.

HP held the No. 4 spot last year, but a 16.5 percent plunge in storage sales to $119 million put it behind CA, which grew revenue 4 percent to $130 million.

Growth drivers remained the same in Q3 2006, as IDC again attributed the sales boom to thriving replication and archiving market segments.

Replication storage software, in which data can now be copied across multiple remote networks around the world thanks to advancements in asynchronous replication technologies, grew 22.5 percent year-over-year in Q3 2006.

The archive and hierarchical storage management (HSM) market actually grew more, posting a 30.8 percent year-over-year growth rate for software that socks data away in storage systems by order of its importance.

IDC analyst Rhoda Phillips in a statement chalked up the growth to the continued heavy influence of record-retention requirements that require data be kept for specific periods of time.

The importance of business continuity, storage consolidation for collapsing data volumes onto fewer arrays, and migration to move data between systems, also spurred Q3 revenue growth.