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Analysts Weigh Storage Market, Look Ahead to 2008

Storage software spending is growing faster than hardware spending, a trend that's likely to continue into 2008.

According to IDC, external disk storage systems revenue was up 5.1 percent year-on-year for the third quarter of 2007, while storage software revenues rose 9.8 percent.

While growing faster than hardware, the storage software market is still substantially smaller than storage hardware: Software turned in revenues of $2.8 billion last quarter, while the worldwide disk storage systems market reached $6.3 billion in the same period, by IDC's reckoning.

In software, the word is archiving. "Overall market growth was driven by strong performance in both the archiving and data protection and recovery markets," said IDC analyst Michael Margossian in a prepared statement. "Customer demand for storage replication seems to be cooling off, while the need for archiving appears to be picking up."

IDC says archiving software grew 13.6 percent year-on-year last quarter, and the firm attributes this in part to a greater interest among users in e-discovery, regulatory compliance, and overall storage optimization. Data protection and recovery, another key segment, was down sequentially but also grew 13.1 percent year on year.

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