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J. Russell Hudson, a storage manager with SouthTrust Bank, Birmingham, AL, is among those whose company is using storage management tools to leverage its current employees' strengths. "The storage management definitely makes things easier for us. My job is less stressful and more pleasant even though we're not adding any bodies," he says.
While a small percentage of users are mainly motivated by a desire to audit and report on their environments (9%), few are buying software primarily for chargeback (5%) or mainly to optimize storage efficiency and decrease storage growth (1%).
The drive to simplify complex environments is further reflected by the type of storage management software users say they intend to buy. For 44% of respondents, their main purchase will be packages to manage multiple products from multiple vendors, far more than the 18% who are focused on element managers. Almost as many respondents (38%) were primarily interested in packages to integrate into higher level management environments, a clear signal that users want more capable management environments.
That's also signaled by the 51% who said they would select software based on the most comprehensive set of features, far ahead of best of breed products (34%) or price (36%). That's also in contrast to those who will buy management software mainly from their hardware vendors (35%) or storage software vendors (34%).
If 2003 is going to be the year of virtualization, it will catch storage managers by surprise. Only 23% say they will implement a virtualization solution next year, with interest divided fairly evenly among the various approaches. With IT shops solidly behind SAN creation and expansion, and with staffs apparently not growing, storage managers will likely find themselves highly dependent on management software improvements to carry it all off.
This was first published in August 2002