The storage software market showed signs of rebounding in the second quarter, but is still falling short of the pace set last year.

Worldwide, storage software vendors raked in $2.8 billion in revenue in the quarter, down nearly 10% versus the second quarter of 2008, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Storage Software Tracker issued last week.

However, some areas did see a rise compared to the previous quarter. Within the storage software market, revenue for replication products grew 5% compared with the first quarter of this year, and data protection and recovery revenue was 3% higher than in the first quarter. Revenue for device management and archiving software has also grown slightly since the beginning of 2009.

"The storage software market is slowly starting to recover with positive growth over the first quarter of 2009," IDC analyst Michael Margossian said in a press release. But IDC cautioned that growth between the first and second quarters is typical, so the year-over-year comparisons are more significant.

While last week's report covers storage software, IDC this month also reported that storage hardware sales continue to struggle. Globally, revenue for external disk storage systems was $4.1 billion in the second quarter, an 18% decline year-over-year. The network disk storage market declined 15% year-over-year. This was the third straight year enterprise storage systems revenue declined in the second quarter.

EMC led the storage software market with 22.4% of revenue in the second quarter, ahead of Symantec (18.5%), IBM (11.5%) and NetApp (8.5%). But NetApp gained ground on its rivals.

EMC also leads the external disk storage systems market with 21.5% of worldwide revenue.

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