The big crunch: Capacity grows, budgets shrink


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Increased capacity demands are the overriding theme of this year's Storage Purchasing Intentions survey.

As if traveling through the eye of a storm, storage managers enjoyed a brief respite from the ever-escalating need for more disk capacity last year. But that serenity was short-lived. As anyone who has weathered a hurricane can attest, the backside of a storm can be even more forbidding than the initial impact.

Last year, Storage magazine's Storage Purchasing Intentions survey revealed a slowdown in the amount of disk storage companies intended to add. At that time, respondents said the average capacity they expected to add was 38TB--hardly small change, but it did represent a slight dip from 2006's 40TB. This year, on average, storage managers expect to add 47TB of new disk capacity (see "Relentless growth of disk capacity" below).

Not all companies will add so much capacity, but most will have to increase disk space to their existing infrastructure. "We estimate somewhere around 35TB," says Jean Kocur, information systems director at Pittsburgh-based MSA Associates. Although a bit smaller than the average capacity growth, MSA's new 35TB is on top of the 38TB the company added last year to a total installed capacity of more than 350TB.

At Manulife Financial in Toronto, management sees a trend that will require an additional

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15TB of disk in 2008, but Jean Veronneau, director of storage, thinks the estimate is conservative. "I'm predicting 40TB," he says. Manulife Financial is in the ending stages of a storage technology refresh initiated last year that brought its installed capacity up to approximately 250TB. "Everything is going to grow," says Veronneau. "What might happen is we'll add a lot more NAS into the environment."

The University of Oklahoma in Norman has a mix of Hitachi Data Systems and EMC Corp. storage. With nearly 200TB of disk already installed, the university still needs more capacity. "We just bought an AMS1000 [Hitachi Adaptable Modular Storage] two weeks ago, and we'll probably get another 1000 for the North campus," says Fred Keller, IT director of enterprise storage and backup for the university's three campuses.

Click here for a chart of the
relentless growth of disk capacity (PDF).

This was first published in June 2008

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