Enterprises are buying more replication, backup and archiving storage software. That's according to IDC who has just released its recent quarterly storage software report.

The market research firm found that in the fourth quarter of 2005, the storage replication software market grew 21.7 percent, representing the largest storage software segment growth, IDC said.

Businesses increasingly need to protect and secure the information they collect and that demand is driving the growth in the replication, backup and archiving segments of the storage software market, IDC said. The growing volume of software sales in those segments is also being driven by demand from businesses to protect their data throughout the business cycle, it said.

Sales in those segments helped drive the overall worldwide storage software market to grow by 12.6 percent in 2005, with revenue reaching US$8.9 billion for the year, IDC found. For the fourth quarter, the market grew 11.2 percent, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year growth in storage software sales, IDC said.

EMC held on to the number one spot with 29.7 percent market share in 2005, down just slightly from 30.1 percent in 2004. Symantec came in second with 20.3 percent market share and IBM third with 10.5 percent share for 2005.

Network Appliance had the biggest growth, with revenue up 45.4 percent in 2005 compared to 2004, bringing its market share up to 6.6 percent. IBM reported 26.8 percent growth for the year.