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Netting Out NetBackup

IDC Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Report: a different view

Created: 29 Jun 2012 • Updated: 22 Jan 2013
Phil Wandrei's picture
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IDC came out with their “Worldwide Purpose-Built Backup Appliance 2012-2016 Forecast and 2011 Vendor Shares1” report a couple of months ago. I want to highlight three key points that I believe haven’t received the attention they deserve. 

1. Purpose-Built Backup Appliances are a Hot Market!

If you are a IT Manager or Director, you should be considering PBBA for your environment.  The technology is proven, $2.4 billion in 2012, and provides significant OpEx and CapEx benefits.  Purpose-built backup appliances with deduplication can address your challenges of data growth while reducing your total cost of ownership. 

If you are a reseller or a salesperson, you need to have PBBA in your portfolio. IDC forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4% over the next five (5) years.  This means the industry will more than double, totaling $5.9 billion in 2016. What other market segment is growing this rapidly, has volume, and is based on proven technology?

2. Not all Purpose Built Backup Appliances are the same. 

In the past, all PBBAs were lumped together within the backup market. At Symantec, this was a burr under our saddle.  We believe there is a significant difference between PBBAs and called this out in our messaging.  Symantec NetBackup appliances include both the backup software AND deduplication in a fully integrated appliance.  Our competitors only have deduplication in their appliance, being dependent on third party backup software (in many cases NetBackup software) to manage the backup data.  

The good news is IDC, and other analysts, are now also making this important distinction between PBBAs.  In its current report, “IDC has defined two PBBA product categories, integrated systems and target systems:

  • PBBA systems used in conjunction with third-party backup software and designed to integrate in heterogeneous environments are called PBBA backup targets.
  • PBBA systems that are tightly integrated with backup software are called PBBA integrated systems. The PBBA integrated systems can have master or media servers built integrated into the system to orchestrate the backup and movement of data to other systems or removable media such as tape.” 

Symantec NetBackup Appliances are in the PBBA Integrated System category, which delivers greater OpEx and CapEx savings. 

3. Symantec is the fastest growing Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Vendor

The IDC report provides two metrics; revenue and capacity shipped for vendors in 2011. 

While interesting to see the market share for these two categories, it is only a snapshot of a point in time.  I was curious as to how have Vendors changed over the last year? Who is growing, shrinking, or staying the same?  For comparison, I used two previous IDC reports;

  • “Worldwide Purpose-Built Backup Appliance 2011-2015 Forecast Update:  Explosive Growth in 20112”. 
  • “Worldwide Purpose-Built Backup Appliance 2011-2015 Forecast and 2010 Vendor Shares3”. 

Using the 3 reports, and calculating the 2H2011 numbers, I arrived at the following chart: 

  2010 Revenue ($M) 2010 Share   IH11 Revenue ($M) 1H11 Share (%)   2H11 Revenue ($M) 2H11 Share (%)
EMC      1,085.7          64.22            713.8          61.99            874.6          68.74
IBM          278.9          16.50            238.7          20.73            131.4          10.33
HP            78.9            4.67              36.5            3.17              64.1            5.04
Symantec                 -                   -                26.3            2.28              57.8            4.54
Quantum            50.4            2.98              29.3            2.54              34.5            2.71
Oracle            52.1            3.08              22.8            1.98              22.7            1.78
Fujitsu                 -                   -                     -                   -                36.0            2.83
Sepaton            27.9            1.65              18.9            1.64              16.1            1.27
ExaGrid                 -                   -                     -                   -                31.4            2.47
FalconStor            17.5            1.04                 9.7            0.84              18.0            1.41
Dell            17.3            1.02              13.1            1.14              11.4            0.90
Other            81.9            4.84              42.3            3.67            (25.7)          (2.02)
Total      1,690.6        100.00        1,151.4        100.00        1,272.3        100.00

Three important observations:

1. Symantec is the fasted growing vendor in PBBA. Leaped from 0 to #4 Vendor ranking in one year!

2. Symantec gained the most market share over the last year. Largest growth of 4.54 percentage points in one year!

3. Symantec is the only vendor to show consistent market share growth. Increased market share in 1st and 2nd half 2011!


As IDC highlights in their Market Analysis, Purpose-Built Backup Appliances provide great OpEx and CapEx savings.  They warrant strong consideration for your data protection environment and as part of your evaluation, Symantec should be considered. Symantec NetBackup Appliances are the fastest growing PBBA, and provide clear differentiation and exceptional value.


  • Worldwide Purpose-Built Backup Appliance 2012-2016 Forecast and 2011 Vendor Shares, April 2012, IDC #234488.
  • Worldwide Purpose-Built Backup Appliance 2011-2015 Forecast Update:  Explosive Growth in 2011, December 2011, IDC #232070.
  • Worldwide Purpose-Built Backup Appliance 2011-2015 Forecast and 2010 Vendor Shares, May 2011, IDC #228091.