Storage managers in control


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Although Independence Blue Cross added one tape library last year and one this year, it's building out its virtual tape environment. "I don't think we're going to be adding any more tape," says the firm's Boyer. "If anything, we'll probably add more space in the virtual tape space as we deploy that out to more and more apps."

Increasing interest in two key disk-based backup technologies--data deduplication and continuous data protection (CDP)--are also bolstering the shift away from tape. A little fewer than 10% of respondents say they're using CDP, while almost 8% have deployed some form of data deduplication. Modest numbers, perhaps, but they double the percentages reported in the previous survey. And plans for 2007 deployment of these technologies register even higher: 16% for CDP and 12% for data deduplication.

Storage managers may have cast a wary eye toward CDP and data deduplication in the past, but appear to be warming up to--if not embracing--them now. Twenty-nine percent of respondents say they plan to increase spending for CDP, while 31% say the same for data deduplication. Perhaps storage managers, getting a bit of a breather from dealing with rampant growth, now have time to implement newer technologies to enhance their management of installed storage.

"I would love to get rid of tape," says Kirsteins at Temple University Health System, "but hospitals and healthcare in general are hoarders; they hoard all their data." Kirsteins' group is planning to add another tape library to handle the retention of voluminous healthcare data. "We have to keep it long term and we'll probably never use it; to back up that data and keep it offsite on disk is crazy," says Kirsteins.

This was first published in May 2007

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