The big crunch: Capacity grows, budgets shrink


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Can virtualization help?
Storage virtualization makes it possible to use storage more efficiently and to balance previously uneven workloads among disparate arrays. While it sounds like a perfect technology to address the kinds of capacity issues our survey has revealed, it's still far from attaining mainstream acceptance.

The reasons for the cool reception to storage virtualization have been well documented: it's costly, can be difficult and time-consuming to implement, and is tough to back out of if desired. While virtualization has certainly made inroads, survey responses largely reflect the difficulties associated with it, as 48% indicated that they haven't virtualized any of their storage. Those who have taken the virtualization plunge appear to be proceeding cautiously, with approximately 20% virtualizing some of their block or file storage. Still, among those who haven't virtualized, 67% have no planned storage virtualization purchases for 2008.

While he could add virtualization via his installed Hitachi Universal Storage Platform (USP) array, Keller at the University of Oklahoma still isn't convinced. "To do virtualization, I've got to give up some of my FED [front-end director] ports," he says. "I don't want to give up those resources."

With a droopy economy and lots of new capacity needs, storage managers will be watching

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every penny, trying to get past 2008 relatively unscathed. That explains the heightened interest in iSCSI, dedupe, VTLs and a handful of other newer technologies. It won't be an easy year, but it will be an interesting one.

About the survey: Storage magazine's Purchasing Intentions survey is conducted twice a year (in the spring and in the fall). This is the sixth year we have conducted the survey. Storage subscribers are contacted by email and invited to participate in the survey. For the current survey, there were a total of 763 respondents. They're asked if they have purchasing authority in four areas: disk subsystems (551 respondents), storage networking (442), backup and disaster recovery (419), and storage management (348). Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey.

This was first published in June 2008

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