2009: Do more with less


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Key projects for 2009
But having less to spend doesn't mean storage managers will have less to do in 2009. Asked to name their top three storage priorities for the new year, slightly more than 40% say backup will be priority No. 1 (about the same as last year). Last year, adding more storage capacity and data archiving ranked second and third after backup; in our latest poll, disaster recovery (DR) planning nudged archiving out of the top three.

"We're revamping our whole DR plan," says Wagner. "Our goal is to make it as easy as possible. What I want to do is have a two-page document in a lock box somewhere--kind of 'In case of emergency, break glass.'"

What's perhaps most interesting about our respondents' priorities is that, once again, their top three areas of concentration are directly related to protecting growing data stores (see "Top storage priorities for 2009," below). This isn't new to them: data growth has moved from a one- or two-year phenomenon to business as usual; and in an age where a company's data is often its key asset, data protection is paramount. And company size doesn't appear to shift that emphasis. Backup was the top priority for 2009 for all companies, and dealing with burgeoning capacities and disaster recovery ranked second or third across all company sizes.

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Top storage priorities for 2009
Survey respondents were asked to choose their top three storage-related priorities for 2009.
adding capacity
disaster recovery
data dedupe
storage management
storage tiering
capacity management

Beefing up disk systems
With an average 39TB of additional capacity needed, companies will be adding new storage arrays and disks for already installed systems. For 56% of those surveyed, their capacity efforts will be focused on primary storage systems. That's about eight percentage points less than last year, but it's somewhat offset by a rise of a few points in the number of respondents who say they'll address nearline storage in 2009. The pickup in nearline storage plans should come as no surprise with so much attention being paid to data protection technologies and processes.

"The only capacity we'll be adding is to our VM cluster, and we'll probably be adding anywhere from 6TB to 9TB of SAS drives," says the City of Fort Collins' Wood. Over the past couple of years the city has built up its LeftHand Networks storage systems (LeftHand was recently acquired by Hewlett-Packard Co.), so only incremental additions are likely for 2009. "We've sunk a significant amount of money [into storage systems] this year and last year, so it's just going to be adding capacity for virtualization," adds Wood.

This was first published in December 2008

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