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Storage spending report

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Disk-based backup growth continues

Storage management software purchase plans

 

Turmoil in management software
Past surveys have shown lackluster interest in purchasing storage management software and this edition continues

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that trend. Only 40% of those surveyed will increase their storage management software spending, while 14% have no plans to buy (see Storage management software purchase plans, this page). Storage managers continue to ask for the same things--software to increase staff productivity, specifically to manage resources, operations and performance.

What has gradually emerged in the last year is that the tie between hardware and software is growing stronger. In the March 2004 Purchasing Intentions Survey, 29% of respondents listed "Features/functions" as their main reason for choosing their primary storage management software vendor, compared to 21% for "Key supplier of hardware to my company" and 14% for "Key supplier of software to my company." Those numbers shifted in favor of hardware vendors in the August 2004 Purchasing Intentions Survey and continued in that direction this past March, with the hardware tie-in getting 24% and features/functions remaining the same (29%). The tie in with software vendors stayed at 14%.

This past year, hardware vendors EMC, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. all showed modest increases in their ranking as primary storage management software vendors. Computer Associates (CA) International Inc. and Veritas Software Corp., on the other hand, declined slightly. With respondents consistently listing "Simplify management of different storage environments" as a strong and growing factor driving their software purchases, this would seem paradoxical, as hardware vendors have come no closer than claims to true multivendor management.

But users probably haven't settled into this pattern of buying management software from their hardware vendors for the long haul, as "Other" (which has hovered around 12% in recent years) has been the fourth most-popular storage software vendor in our survey. Perhaps more telling is that while 11% of respondents in our March 2005 Purchasing Intentions Survey listed "Other" as their primary vendor in 2004, an amazing 17% listed "Other" as their prospective primary vendor for 2005. If users follow through with their plans, this would boost "Other" to third place, just behind Veritas.

One factor that may well change how users see and deploy storage management software is virtualization. With the technology getting a second breath of life and a big push from all major disk vendors, storage managers indicate a much greater willingness to invest in it than ever before. While historically only 20% to 25% of respondents have shown an intent to purchase virtualization in one form or another, that figure jumped to 37% in this edition of the survey. All forms of virtualization technology grew, with host- and array-based software continuing to hold the lead.

About this survey: Our survey was conducted in March 2005 by e-mail. Results are based on answers from 571 respondents, all of whom had specific purchasing authority for the product categories they were queried on.

This was first published in June 2005

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