The 2005 pan-European storage market is set for positive growth, according to analyst Macarthur Stroud International.
According to the firm, 2004 has been a buoyant year for the storage channel, with SAN penetration in EMEA reaching 57 per cent and a marked growth in distributed SANs.
Data capacity among SAN end-users in 2004 saw "staggering growth", exceeding 100 per cent. This will continue to outpace growth in other storage segments next year, Macarthur Stroud claimed.
The overall value of the storage networking market will grow by 13 per cent in 2005, with storage software remaining strong, growing by 28 per cent.
"These figures show how end-users have come to understand that networked storage is the way forward for organisations looking for a cost-effective and scalable solution to capacity, business continuity and, of course, compliance issues," said Hamish Macarthur, chief executive of Macarthur Stroud.
"The steep growth in the software side means end-users are demanding more from their storage and are looking to automate many administrative and management functions."
Roger Smith, managing director of VAR Solid State Solutions, agreed that 2005 will be another prosperous year for the sector.
"Technology has helped a lot. Serial ATA [SATA] disks are helping in the backup space, and we are seeing a lot of customers doing stage storage. This is going to keep the tape business pretty stagnant; firms won't need so many tape drives when doing disk-to-disk storage," he said.
"Vendors are coming out with different configurations of SATA disks, which is going to increase that market segment. Customers are also becoming more switched on by data storage. They are making sure the data is held in the appropriate place. The market is very buoyant."
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