Not the biggest by revenue but ahead of rivals in product.
IBM is the number one provider of software-defined storage platforms (SDS-P), according to analyst IDC.
The analyst house placed the tech giant ahead of rivals EMC and Symantec in its second quarter 2014 Worldwide Storage Software Qview survey.
IDC described SDS-P as "a new functional market added to the total storage software market that covers block, file, object, and/or hyper-converged software offerings that enable the creation of a storage system".
It added that such platforms provide the full suite of storage services via a software layer that avoids locking customers in to one piece of hardware, instead being able to be used with most commodity, off-the-shelf storage kits.
Despite the fact that EMC gobbled up the greatest share of the quarter’s $3.8bn SDS-P revenues with a 25.9% share, IDC ranked IBM as its top provider in the space, with just 16% in revenues.
It pointed to IBM’s Elastic Storage product, its rebranded General Parallel File System, as well as its SAN Volume Controller, a simplified platform to manage storage infrastructure, as reasons the company placed first.
In addition, IBM’s Virtual Storage centre helped it claim top spot, due to its capabilities to manage backup and restoration of data.
IDC found that the SDS-P market grew 6.3% year-on-year overall this last quarter, less than the data protection and recovery area of storage, which posted the growth of 10.2% year-on-year – up to $1.45bn revenue.