Last night I had this recurring dream I seem to have a few times a year. It involves a plane crash, but not one that I’m on. The dream always changes, but in every case I’m out and about someplace, I look up and see a struggling plane, it crashes, and I rush over to help. The dream almost always end before I do anything, and since I’m no longer a field medic portions of it usually involve me figuring out how I can help. Must be my overblown, currently unused hero complex or something. Never doubt the bounds of my ego.

This has absolutely nothing to do with what I want to talk about today; I just think it’s weird.

I swear I posted on this before, but I can’t find it anywhere. During a dinner with one of the Database Activity Monitoring vendors (the best DAM name in the industry) I mentioned their market size was equal to, or slightly larger than, the pure-play DLP market (that’s where we toss out peripheral products that only use DLP as a feature). I assumed this was common knowledge, but their jaws dropped. We ran through some back of the envelope calculations, and placed DLP at about $70M in 2007, with DAM right in the same range. My estimates might be off by up to $20M, but that’s basically a rounding error when we’re talking total market revenues.

Here are a few caveats. My estimates don’t include a lot of peripheral vendors, and I slice down as best I can to estimate DLP vs. DAM specific sales. For example, Orchestria launched a new DLP product in 2007, but I only include a fraction of their revenue in the market rollup since most of the revenue is still coming from their compliance product. Same for Verdasys, Proofpoint, Imperva (also has web application firewalls), and other vendors either with multiple product lines, or where DLP or DAM is a feature of something else. I work with most of the major DLP and DAM vendors, and while some share their revenues under NDA, some don’t, and these are mostly private companies. I’m also certain a couple of them are lying to me.

So there you have it. DLP is heavily hyped, but DAM is essentially the same size without as much hype. I believe this is because DAM, in some cases, directly addresses a compliance requirement, while DLP isn’t usually required (although can often really help).