The time is right for efficient storage


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But for some, plans may have to be deferred for now. Lance Wyatt, information systems manager at United Steelworkers in Pittsburgh, said he was evaluating a move from DAS to networked storage "before the economy tanked." While DAS is serving the company well for now, any significant changes will have to wait. "We're probably looking at maybe third quarter [of] 2010, probably 2011," he said.

In an ironic twist, the average storage budget of $2.9 million is approximately 12% higher than last fall, but about 9% lower than spring 2008. For a lot of companies, a storage budget of that size would be the stuff of dreams; however, the majority of our survey participants (56%) make do with one-third of that amount or less.

That's why archiving, thin provisioning, data dedupe and NAS gateways drew particular interest from this year's respondents, as they all address using existing storage resources more efficiently while perhaps delaying or scaling back new purchases.

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Click here to view the storage managers' purchasing intentions by the numbers PDF.

Not everything is down

Budgets may be tough to predict year over year, but storage managers can make one prediction with 100% certainty: Their need for disk capacity will continue to grow. This year, respondents will add an average of 43 TB to their existing disk environments, which is approximately 10% more than what they planned on last fall, but lower than the 47 TB they predicted in spring 2008 (see "Expected new disk capacity"). Either way, it's a lot of capacity to add and the second highest number we've seen in the surveys.

Larger companies (those with revenue of $1 billion or more) expect to add a whopping 75 TB in 2009. But smaller companies, with their more modest capacity requirements, expect to add an average of just 23 TB.

This was first published in May 2009

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