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2009: Do more with less

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"I would say at the very least, a modest increase," says Jon DeMersseman, manager of infrastructure services at Thomas & King Inc., a restaurant franchise company in Lexington, KY, describing the prospects for his 2009 storage budget. DeMersseman did a lot of IT expense trimming this year, but says "for 2009, I'm kind of out of novel things to do to save our company huge dollars."

Last year, 58% of the firms participating in our survey expected their storage budgets to increase by at least 5%; this year, only 43% believe their 2009 budgets will rise at that rate or higher. And the number of respondents who anticipate lower budgets than they had this year nearly doubled to 15% (vs. 8% last year).

Adden Wagner, data center manager at Lexington Clinic, also in Lexington, KY, expects his 2009 budget to be a bit higher. "It'll definitely be higher," he says. "How much higher I don't know; a lot depends on these [pending] projects."

But some budgets will go down as planned, not necessarily in response to a sluggish economy. "It will go down because we've had so many one-time costs the last two years, and we've already paid our maintenance," says Zach Wood, senior systems administrator for the City of Fort Collins, CO. Wood says they stretch out maintenance to "reach into our next budget cycle" to regulate costs and keep their budgets under control.

While there

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might be less cash in the till in 2009, there will be more disk capacity in respondents' shops; the average amount of disk capacity they expect to add next year is 39TB, approximately an 11% dip from last year's 44TB (see "Anticipated disk capacity additions," below). But 39TB isn't a trivial amount of new capacity, and that number is in the range of expected capacity additions we've seen on other surveys we've conducted.

Compared to last year, the biggest change in anticipated new disk capacity is among mid-sized firms, who indicate they'll add approximately 22% less capacity than they planned for last year. For smaller and larger firms, their 2009 estimates are off just a few percentage points compared to a year ago.


This was first published in December 2008

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