It's a good time to be in the IT security business, especially if you're into appliances, also known as the Security Appliance Market.

According to research firm IDC, the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Unified Threat Management (UTM) and Secure Content Management (SCM) appliance market all posted double digit revenue gains in the first quarter of 2007.

The SCM market includes messaging and Web security elements such as spam detection. IDC says it's a market that is moving from a software-only approach to the appliance form factor, much the same as other segments of threat management.

IDC's Security Appliance Tracker reported that global factory revenue for the SCM appliance space was over $175 million in the first quarter of 2007, marking its strongest quarter ever. For 2006 as a whole IDC reported that the SCM appliance market totaled $584 million in revenue and shipped more than 80,000 units.

The big leader in the SCM space is IronPort, which was acquired by Cisco earlier this year for $830 million. The deal formally closed on June 25th .

For the first quarter of 2007 IDC reported that IronPort held a 14.27 percent market share bringing in nearly $25 million in revenue. Its closest competitors were Secure Computing at 8.5 percent market share and nearly $15 million in revenue, followed closely by Barracuda at an 8.3 percent share and just over $14.5 million in revenue.

"It is against company policy for me to predict vendor growth, but I can say that Ironport is well-positioned with Cisco," IDC analyst Jon Crotty told "The Cisco sales channel will definitely help Ironport."

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