IDC: EMC, Symantec, HP All Show Storage Software Slides

The two market leaders, EMC and Symantec, both saw their storage management software fall due in part to acquisition-related issues, said Rhoda Phillips, research manager for storage software at IDC, the Framingham, Mass.-based consulting firm.

EMC kept its top spot in the storage management market with revenue of $645 million, giving it a market share of 26.4 percent, IDC said. It was followed by Symantec at $468 million, IBM at $311 million, Network Appliance at $222 million, Hewlett-Packard at $141 million, and Computer Associates at $140 million.

The second quarter growth in storage management software overall was led by a strong year-over-year 13.2-percent growth in storage replication software, Phillips said.

However, that replication part of the market also contributed to the 3.2-percent drop in EMC's storage management software sales. EMC uses array-based replication, and so a slowdown in EMC array sales pulled down its replication software sales, Phillips said.

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EMC, which has been feeling a lot of pressure from NetApp in the replication space, also saw a decline in other types of storage management software sales, she said. The vendor may also be suffering from its recent binge of acquisitions, including EMC's move in July to acquire security giant RSA.

"You kinda get the feeling, are they losing focus," Phillips said. "Are they spreading themselves out too thin?"

Symantec, which saw its storage management software revenue drop 1.8 percent from last year, is also suffering from issues related to the merger between Symantec and Veritas, Phillips said.

Symantec is also feeling pressures from smaller storage management software vendors including CommVault Systems, Oceanport, NJ, and BakBone Software, San Diego, Phillips said. CommVault's software in particular fits the gap between Symantec's entry-level Backup Exec and its enterprise NetBackup, she said.

While HP's storage management software sales slid 2.7 percent, that vendor is doing well in the replication side. HP is also starting to follow its recent storage hardware recovery with a recovery in software sales, and has been putting more feet in the street to integrate software from AppIQ, which it acquired about a year ago, she said.

IBM, on the other hand, saw storage management software revenue sales increase 34.9 percent year-over-year. This was do to the vendor's strong productivity message together with increased traction in its Tivoli software business, Phillips said.

NetApp, on the other hand, enjoyed a huge 57.5 percent increase in storage management sales.

Part of that boost came from strong hardware sales. NetApp is the fastest growing report unveiled last week.

More important, said Phillips, is NetApp's focus on this market. "NetApp also made acquisitions, but the perception in the market is, they maintained their focus," she said. "They're perceived by customers as easy to do business with. They feel NetApp is simple, not complicated. Perception in this business is important. How long will it take EMC to shed the image of the cocky sales rep even though it's no longer true?"