2009: Do more with less


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"As far as backup software and data management itself, that's probably more for 2010," says the City of Fort Collins' Wood. The city expects to add functionality to its CommVault software, but that will have to wait for now. "As far as adding stuff in 2009, it's just adding the onesie-twosie licenses as we add servers," notes Woods.

Backup issues go beyond just getting data onto disk or tape. With most companies still using tape to some degree--and many still shipping tapes to offsite vaulting facilities--securing tape cartridges is a growing concern. LTO-4 tape drives provide greater capacity and performance than their predecessors, but they also allow hardware-based encryption for protecting tape content. Last year, 41% said they would install or evaluate LTO-4 drives in 2008; this year, that number was trimmed by about 12 points. But, as with some other examples we've seen, offsetting that drop was the number of respondents reporting that they've implemented LTO-4 technology: 21% vs. 10% last year.

Those respondents who anticipate adding LTO-4 drives in 2009 are more likely to put them in new tape libraries this year, as 29% plan to acquire at least one new tape library in the coming year. Eighteen percent say they'll add new drives to existing libraries, about 8 points lower than last year; this suggests that libraries may be reaching their capacity limits in some firms.

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Disk-based backup systems appear to be built out in many organizations, as 28% of those surveyed don't plan to purchase any additional arrays or disks for the backup disk systems (about 10 points higher than last year). Of those who do anticipate additions to their disk-backup operations, there's a relatively even spilt among those planning to add disks to existing systems and those planning to purchase new backup arrays.

The storage net
It doesn't look like many companies will tinker with their data center storage networks in 2009, as about one-third of respondents report no plans for any additions and only 20% expect to add switches to their existing fabrics. Some will add ports to currently installed switching gear (16%) and 9% expect to replace some switches. These numbers are in line with last year's, so they probably reflect typical technology refreshes rather than any apparent shifts in networking infrastructures.

There also doesn't appear to be overwhelming interest in some newer network technologies at this point. Eight percent say they'll implement WAN optimization next year, and another 27% will evaluate those devices--numbers generally the same as last year's returns.

This was first published in December 2008

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