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 per cent versus the second quarter of 2008, according to the  IDC 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 five per cent compared with the first quarter of this year, and data protection and recovery revenue was three per cent 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. 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 per cent decline year-over-year. The network disk storage market declined 15 per cent 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 per cent of revenue in the second quarter, ahead of Symantec (18.5 per cent), IBM (11.5 per cent) and NetApp (8.5 per cent). But NetApp gained ground on its rivals.

EMC (pictured) also leads the external disk storage systems market with 21.5 per cent of worldwide revenue.