Complementary Disk and Tape Solutions: A Benefit for Tape Automation Vendors Faced with Modest Volume Growth Through 2011, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 23, 2007 – The long-term outlook for the total worldwide tape automation market calls for modest growth in unit shipments and a declining market value through 2011. IDC expects shipments to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.4%, totaling nearly 154,500 units in 2011, while market value is expected to decrease at a 5.7% CAGR through 2011.

"Hardware-based disk backup solutions, tighter integration of virtual tape library application software, and the trend away from direct-attached tape solutions will adversely impact the tape automation market on the long-term," said Robert Amatruda, research director, Tape and Removable Storage at IDC. "It is therefore imperative for tape automation vendors to design tape libraries that interoperate with disk-based solutions or allow for software-enabled VTL applications. Tape automation vendors that provide complementary disk and tape solutions will benefit from a broader base of customer spending for data-protection products."

Key market dynamics will be as follows:

— The low-end tape automation market will feel the greatest impact, in part from disk and distributed VTL products.

— The midrange tape automation market will benefit from high-capacity, low-cost libraries and autoloaders in the near term.

— The enterprise tape automation market will continue to remain small in volume, but the majority of libraries will be configured with well over several hundred tape cartridges.

IDC's study, Worldwide Tape Automation 2007-2011 Forecast and Analysis, (IDC #206700) provides actual quarterly shipment data for 2005 and 2006 and covers tape automation forecasts of revenue and shipments for 2007-2011. The study also presents expectations for demand, vendor execution, and industry dynamics, as well as suggests sound strategies for industry participants.

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