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Economy and capacity at odds

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But even with fewer bucks in the bank, dollars are earmarked in much the same way as in the past six years, with the biggest chunk (42%) going toward disk hardware (see "Where storage budget dollars go," below). While disk and disk system prices have decreased significantly over the same period, the portion allocated for those items has hovered steadily around the 40% mark. It's simple math: Prices might be lower, but capacity requirements are up, so disk expenditures still gobble up the largest slice of the budget pie.

Disk and more disk
Storage managers expect to add about 39TB of new disk capacity; that's down from the 47TB reported last spring, but about the same as the anticipated new capacity registered on both surveys in 2007 (see "How much disk capacity will you add this year?" below). Last spring's 47TB was the highest number we had ever seen but, given recent results, it could be that managers, still reeling from unchecked storage growth, overestimated their needs. Or to put a more positive spin on it, maybe they're employing more efficient storage management technologies like deduplication and thin provisioning to cut their capacity needs. We're also seeing growing interest in SAN/NAS gateways and multiprotocol arrays, more signs that storage managers are trying to use their disk capacity more efficiently.

Christine Winsor, systems

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administrator at Olympic Associates Company, a Seattle engineering and design firm, says the firm recently acquired two EqualLogic arrays to complement two NAS systems already in place. "We have added over 10TB of usable space with the addition of these storage arrays," says Winsor, noting that Olympic Associates had to increase its 2008 budget to accommodate purchases. "This is the largest purchase I think we've ever made," she adds.

Winsor started looking at EqualLogic's products before it was acquired by Dell Inc. "The timing was fortuitous," says Winsor of the acquisition. "We're pretty much an all-Dell shop. They gave me a deal I couldn't refuse."


This was first published in October 2008

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