Buying update: Storage managers' purchasing plans

On the flip side, spending on disk for backup has held fairly steady, with 80% saying they'll maintain or increase their spending in the latest survey (the same percentage as last spring). Perhaps the most interesting development in disk-based backup, however, is the rising interest in data deduplication (or single-instance storage) technology. In the spring, approximately 12% of respondents said they planned to deploy deduplication; six months later, 20% of those surveyed now say deduplication is in their plans.

We posed a new question in the most recent survey, asking respondents to rank the importance of a specific functionality in the backup apps they'll consider. The ability to back up to disk is the most favored function (56%), which seems to dovetail with the declining interest in tape as a backup medium.

On the horizon
Encryption isn't a new technology, but many storage managers seem to treat it as something new and unusual. Last spring, we initiated a question about storage security and found that 55% of respondents hadn't taken any serious steps in that direction. This fall, the results are even bleaker, with 58% still sitting on the encryption sidelines. That's not to suggest that there isn't interest: 26% report they have implemented or plan to implement encryption this year (vs. 22% last spring), while another 39% say they'll evaluate it (vs. 40% in the spring survey).

Other new technologies and processes made some modest

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inroads, with more respondents implementing SAN/NAS gateways (37%), wide-area replication (31%) and service-level agreements (27%). Approximately 26% of respondents intend to bolster their disaster recovery (DR) plans with new DR monitoring tools. But some technologies are still struggling to gain acceptance and adoption, with more than 60% of respondents saying they have no immediate plans for or won't implement chargeback, ediscovery tools, automated provisioning systems, WORM media or wide-area file systems. With the exception of chargeback, these are all relatively new technologies and, in future surveys, the pendulum may swing in their favor.

ABOUT OUR SURVEY: Storage magazine's Purchasing Intentions survey is conducted twice a year (in the spring and in the fall). Storage subscribers are contacted by email and invited to participate in the survey. For the current survey, there were a total of 660 respondents. They're asked if they have purchasing authority in four areas: disk subsystems (595 respondents), storage networking (461), backup and disaster recovery (445), and storage management (334). Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey.

This was first published in October 2007

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