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Storage Management

The data storage industry, which encompasses the disk storage, tape, and storage software markets, has been in a constant state of flux. Although demand for storage capacity has surged, some hardware vendors still face stagnant revenues due to downward pricing pressures.

By Jeanne Lim, ZDNet Asia

The data storage industry, which encompasses the disk storage, tape, and storage software markets, has been in a constant state of flux. Although demand for storage capacity has surged, some hardware vendors still face stagnant revenues due to downward pricing pressures.

According to IDC, the total Asia-Pacific tape drive market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6 percent in unit shipments from 2004-2008, but revenues are expected to grow at only 1.3 percent during the same period.

Faring better are the external disk storage vendors, which saw a surge in demand in the first half of this year. The storage software market posted a strong showing in the first quarter of 2005, too.

However, all sub-segments of the storage industry failed to escape the scepter of consolidation: Symantec's acquisition of Veritas, Sun's purchase of StorageTek, and the Quantum buy of Certance.

As a result, some of the storage candidates for the ZDNet Asia Top Tech 50 Index literally disappeared overnight, which makes it all the more laudable for those that made the list. These vendors are BMC, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, Microsoft, NEC, NCR, Network Appliance, Seagate, Sony, Symantec, Toshiba, Unisys, and Western Digital.

But special mention must go to the storage players that did not make it to the Top Tech 50, without which the industry wouldn't be as exciting to watch. They are the ones that have also set up shop in the Asia-Pacific region and have succeeded in making some waves in this region. They are also the ones that make the storage landscape more competitive with credible products.