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Backup and disaster recovery plans
Interest in iSCSI and IP storage in general is further reflected by the 43% of respondents who will buy FC to IP gateways or bridges next year, although most will buy five or less.

Switches are mainly being purchased to create new SANs, with 62% citing this as their main reason for buying switches. The most common secondary reason was to create redundancy, with capacity expansion close behind. Few people are adding switches to increase performance, possibly a reflection of how few users have saturated their storage networks at this point.

But larger switches are beginning to become big budget items. Just under half of switch dollars (44%) are going for switches with 64 or more ports in 2003, say respondents.

One factor that shows little change is which applications are driving storage growth. In 2002, 54% of respondents say databases consumed the

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largest percentage of disk storage, followed by file serving (29%) and e-mail (9%). In 2003, the pattern continues, with a modest shift upwards in database primacy over file serving. While a number of startups have talked up the need for specialized storage systems for media serving, only 4.2% of respondents say this will be their largest storage application next year.

Backup: the same, but more
The emerging picture from all of this is that 2003 will be another year in which storage managers will build SANs as database and file storage, mainly to deal with backup and disaster recovery. What's driving increased backup activity is the inclusion of more users and applications into the backup network (51%), with increased business continuance and disaster recovery activity a distant second (37%).

When backing up, most shops will be doing their own. Sixty-eight percent of respondents say their use of online backup services will stay the same, which has generally been low, according to industry analysts. Online backup vendors may take some consolation from the fact that 28% are increasing their use of those services, with only 4% decreasing.

And despite all the bad press tape got in the wake of Sept. 11, 92% of respondents will either increase or maintain their use of tape as a backup medium. Among those decreasing tape usage, more were turning to RAID and other high-reliability disk technologies than disk-based backup.

Our respondents have apparently not read all the press (including some articles in this magazine) predicting that LTO will reach parity with DLT. Either DLT or SuperDLT will be the primary format purchased next year by 43% of respondents, compared to 28% for LTO. AIT was a distant third at 6.5%.

Most users will buy tape drives next year (77%) and many will buy libraries (64%). While most people are buying a small number of libraries (60% for 0ne to 10 libraries), the libraries are fairly large, with 41% buying libraries with more than 20 slots.

This was first published in August 2002

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