This IDC study represents a vendor assessment model called the IDC MarketScape. It's a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the characteristics that assess vendors' current and future success in the AFA market segment and provide a measure of the vendors' ascendancy to become a Leader or maintain a leadership position. IDC MarketScape assessments are particularly helpful in emerging markets that are often fragmented, have several players, and lack clear leaders.
The AFA market segment, which is part of the overall external enterprise storage market, is an example of an emerging market. In this IDC MarketScape, IDC attempts to assess the capabilities and strategies of key vendors of AFA storage platforms. IDC expects that market forces such as fierce competition and buyer demand will accelerate the evolution of this market into a mature market with only a few dominant vendors. In all likelihood, the only survivors in this market may ultimately be vendors with broad portfolio offerings that enable seamless integration of AFAs intended for use as primary storage platforms with other types of existing and emerging storage platforms, particularly secondary storage platforms. A key question in this market over the next several years concerns the viability of AFAs as cost-effective secondary storage platforms.
"The IT infrastructure and business transformation that AFAs enable will be strategic in the successful companies of the future," said Eric Burgener, research director, Storage Systems. "IDC expects AFAs to dominate primary storage market spend by 2019, opening up a key subsequent phase of evolution in enterprise storage markets: how secondary storage platforms will evolve to better meet the real-time needs of 3rd Platform computing."