Another historically strong sector has reported its first decline in years. The storage software market had its first drop in revenue in 21 quarters, according to IDC. The sector dropped 5.2 percent year-over-year in Q1 2009. "The combination of the normally slow first quarter for most companies with the continued economic climate was displayed in this quarter's results," said Michael Margossian, research analyst at IDC. “A majority of companies displayed either negative or very low year-over-year growth," Margossian said.

Hewlett-Packard was the hardest hit, dropping 21.5 percent from $123 billion in Q1 2008 to $97 billion in Q1 2009. EMC, the market’s largest presence with a 21.8 percent market share, dropped 14.5 percent from $716 million in Q1 ’08 to $612 million in Q1 ’09.

Symantec, whose market share of 18.9 percent is second only to EMC, fared the best year-over-year, growing 2.5 percent from $518 in Q1 2008 to $531 Q1 2009.

“Predominantly affected were the Device Management, Replication, and Infrastructure markets, all segments closely aligned with the storage systems themselves," said Laura DuBois, storage software researcher for IDC.

"File System and Management software were able to grow amidst the current economic climate,” DuBois added.

IDC defines storage software as data protection and recovery, archiving (including email archiving), storage replication, storage management, storage device management, storage infrastructure, file system and "other."

Last week, IDC announced that external disk storage dropped 13.6 percent year-over-year. Hopefully the 90 percent of economists who predict that the recession will end before the year’s end are correct.

Source: IDC.

By Mark Alvarez