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SAN array buyers think capacity first

Databases and support for virtual servers are the main use cases for new SAN arrays.

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: Storage magazine: Storage pros see high demand in 2016 salary survey:

Nowadays, there's plenty of talk about cloud, converged and even hyper-converged storage systems, but when it comes...

to shared storage for high performance apps, storage pros still shop for good ol' block storage in the form of the FC or iSCSI SAN array.

Although it seems threatened from all sides, the classic SAN array still has its place, and according to 74% of the respondents in our survey that place is hosting database applications. That stat is far from surprising as databases and block storage have been teamed up to handle mission-critical -- and not-so-critical -- data center apps since networked storage came on the scene.

Most respondents -- 46% -- said they would opt for the archetypal Fibre Channel SAN array, while 24% have iSCSI storage in mind and 31% were hopping to net both protocols in a single box.

Top reasons for making a SAN purchase

The average array size that respondents are considering isn't all that big -- just about 150 TB -- but 20% are planning 200 TB-plus arrays. Whatever capacity our respondents end up with, they know their required capacities will grow, with the average estimate pegging annual capacity growth at 16% -- somewhat less than the scary numbers we sometimes hear industry pundits banter about.

Estimated capacity of SAN array

The reason most of our SAN array shoppers are in the purchasing mode? Simple. Capacity, capacity, capacity. Seventy-six percent said the need for more room is the reason they're buying; 36% cited the need to improve performance, while another 28% were replacing aging iron in their data centers. And because they're shopping for the classic SAN array, the critical features for our respondents also fall into that "classic" category: number of LUNs supported (46%) and multipathing capabilities (37%) lead the way.

SAN array applications
SAN purchase critical features

Next Steps

Understanding LUN storage

How encryption helps foster security for data storage

SAN array optimal fan-out ratios

This was last published in April 2016

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