Green light for disk spending


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What's going on?
According to many of the nearly 100 respondents we followed up with, budgets are still tight, even when they're increasing. Some users are voting with their wallets that storage management software is either too expensive, not good enough or not compelling. Others are merely controlling costs through consolidation and bundling.

For some users, new hardware comes with storage management software. Whatever the real cost, their perception (or what they tell management) is that it's free or cheap.

"It is more difficult to spend money on storage management software than on hardware," says a storage manager at a large Canadian insurer. He adds: "Big storage vendors have basic storage management software coming with their hardware, although it might not be the best."

For others, storage consolidation has allowed many shops to defer storage management software purchases. Fewer devices require fewer software licenses, depending, of course, on the licensing scheme.

"As we have downsized," says a respondent at a leasing company, "the volume of information we have been generating has also decreased, making the management of it easier without resorting to additional tools which make management easier, but are not entirely necessary."

That sentiment--nice to have, but not necessary--is expressed more forcefully by another respondent: "[Our] budget is too tight, and [we're]

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taking a step back from implementing more tools that don't seem to deliver what's promised."

Users' No. 1 software priority is storage resource management (SRM), followed by performance management and operational monitoring (see "What users want in management software"). Contrast that with their three lowest-rated functions: compliance, information life cycle management (ILM) and provisioning. This is in direct contrast with the software most hyped by vendors in the last half year.

This was first published in May 2004

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