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Regardless of what’s happening with the economy, the amount of data to be
stored is still growing at more than 50 percent per year, and the length of
time that data must be retained is being extended, too. This means it’s a very
good time to be among the vendors—EMC, IBM,
HP and NetApp—selling storage hardware, software and services.

In fact, says Taneja Group’s Jeff Boles, senior analyst and director of
validation services, storage demand is probably growing closer to 70 percent
per year, and he thinks we will see new ways of working with data, technologies
and applications like richer videos that will increase that number for brief
spurts, if not long term.

"We should expect that our data footprint year over year is going to
grow at least at that 60 to 70 percent rate," he tells Channel Insider.

According to Gartner, the external controller-based (ECB) disk storage
market experienced an 8.6 percent year-over-year decline from $18 billion in
2008 to $16.3 billion in 2009 and raw terabyte shipments grew only 39.1 percent
while the price per terabyte decreased 34.3 percent.

EMC retained its lead with 25 percent of
the market ($4.104 billion), followed by IBM
($2.431 billion) and HP ($1.718 billion). NetApp was just edged out by Dell,
finishing in fifth place, with revenue of $1.372 billion. With HDS, Sun and
Fujitsu rounding out the top eight vendors, they accounted for 82.6 percent of
the market ($16.446 billion).

IDC’s analysis of the 2009 market put the
decline at 10.2 percent, but overall sales at $18.1 billion. The only
significant difference from Gartner’s viewpoint was putting Dell in fourth,
again just slightly ahead of NetApp.

While still a very small part of the overall market, solid-state drives
(SSDs) did well, growing 14 percent year over year. Looking forward, IDC
expects SSD shipments to achieve a compound
annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54 percent over the 2008 to 2013 forecast period.

For storage software, IDC reported sales
slipped 4.7 percent to $11.725 billion for 2009, with EMC
(22.7 percent), Symantec (17.9 percent), IBM
(13.5 percent), NetApp (8 percent) and CA (4 percent) holding down the top five
spots and accounting for 67.1 percent of the total market.