Channel Best-Sellers: Storage Management Software

storage software

Symantec Corp., remained far and away the leader in this category, but that share represented a drop of 0.3 points from 2006.

Part of the reason may have been that Symantec just debuted new versions of its flagship Backup Exec data protection and Backup Exec System Recovery disaster-recovery software s—the first major upgrades since late 2006. "A lot of customers don't upgrade unless there's a compelling reason to do so," said Randy Cochran, vice president of channel sales in the Americas.

Channel sales also may get a boost this year thanks to the Aspire Rebate Program Symantec launched in October that offers channel partners a rebate of up to 15 percent on all eligible product sales made above their target revenue goal.

At the other extreme was Acronis Inc., whose Acronis True Image Echo line of backup and disaster-recovery software picked up 2 points of distribution market share. Acronis' software can back up data from—and restore to—different virtual systems, so virtualization was a major demand driver for the company last year, said Ed Harnish, vice president of marketing.

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"Acronis is a fast-growing segment of our business," said Mike Piltoff, senior vice president of marketing at Champion Solutions Group, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based solution provider. Champion is a major implementer of VMware virtualization software and Piltoff said Acronis' storage management tools have "a lot of synergy with VMware," and that's boosting demand.

CA Inc. picked up a half point of market share of storage management products. One factor behind CA's gain was the creation in April 2007 of a new business unit that specifically sells storage and recovery management software exclusively through the channel to midmarket customers. "It was important that we have a unit that was specifically focused on the channel," said Glenn Rhodes, vice president of marketing in the business unit.

IBM Corp. and EMC Corp. both suffered decreases in the volume of storage management products sold through distribution in 2007. But Ron Riffe, storage software product manager at IBM, pointed to quarterly reports from IDC that show IBM's storage management products, such as Tivoli Storage Manager and Total Storage SAN Volume Controller, enjoying double-digit sales growth. Many of those products underwent major upgrades last year. Sales through the channel should get a boost this year from IBM's debut in the fourth quarter of the IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center suite, a package of storage management applications designed to be sold by channel partners on an after-market basis to customers with data centers using IBM hardware.