EMC, IBM to Lead Storage Market Growth, Report Says

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

On the vendor side, the narrative continues to surround EMC’s rise and the underwhelming performance of IBM and Oracle: TheInfoPro report found EMC has many customers planning to spend more than $25 million with the company this year.

Independent IT research firm TheInfoPro released its latest storage study, which yielded some encouraging news for the industry and indicates which companies stand to emerge strongest from the recession. According to the study, total storage spending among Fortune 1000 customers reports modest growth, with 35 percent of organizations expecting to boost appropriations in 2011 and 39 percent anticipating stable spending. 

The report found generally, midmarket companies are performing slightly better than the Fortune 1000, with only 13 percent of storage budgets facing cuts in 2011, down from 27 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, 26 percent of Fortune 1000 customers are facing budget cuts, a drop of only 4 percent compared with this year, according to the report.

Storage specialist EMC seems poised for a strong 2011, especially among the Fortune 1000, with five of its products listed on TheInfoPro's "Most Exciting Product" list. IBM and Hewlett-Packard, on the other hand, were deemed somewhat vulnerable, despite strong brand advantages. "Oracle's woes continue—the tech giant was rated as the second most vulnerable vendor for a second consecutive round of the study," the report noted.

"The HP and Dell bidding war over 3PAR is dominating the media's attention right now, and rightfully so," said Ivan Ruzic, CEO of TheInfoPro. "But the acquisition merely underscores what is shaping out to be a strong year for the industry as a whole as well as for innovative storage vendors like EMC, NetApp and others who have retained customer loyalty through their ability to adapt to the changing landscape and still offer an exciting product."

The study found deduplication for backup data reduction remains dominant, as it is the most commonly cited top initiative among storage professionals. Among vendors, EMC has become the most cited in use of the technology by a wide margin—listed as the vendor of choice twice as often to its nearest competitor, which The InfoPro said is a credit to its Data Domain acquisition.

Online data reduction/deduplication, however, is headed in the opposite direction, the report found, with a near 50 percent reduction in terms of long-term planning, with some enterprises dropping it altogether. "This should leave a gap in terms of early-adopters and this technology hitting the mainstream," according to the report.

"It is no surprise that measurable solutions like deduplication and thin provisioning are the hottest initiatives," said Marco Coulter, managing director of the storage practice at TheInfoPro. "From the improved utilization and overall capacity reductions we see in our research, they are clearly delivering on the promise."

Finally, as seen in previous TheInfoPro studies, virtualization and the cloud remain top of mind. Fifty-four percent of respondents believe that virtualization is changing roles and responsibilities, and one in four expect the plurality of production to be virtualized by 2012. And while a mere 8 percent of enterprises utilize an external cloud for storage, 31 percent expect that by 2012 over 25 percent of data services will be protected through the cloud.