Feature

What storage managers are buying and why

Disk and tape together
The number of large companies that indicated they'll increase disk-based backup spending jumped from 58% to 65% since last spring. But at the same time, plans for tape-related purchases increased by 10 percentage points. In fact, across all company sizes, plans for tape purchases--or actual purchases--increased.

With tape spending bouncing back up (as reflected in our most recent survey

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results), a pattern spanning the last two years is beginning to emerge. In the spring edition of the survey, respondents tended to express their intention to lower their expected tape expenditures, while responses to the fall survey edition reverse that trend. This is likely caused by a combination of two factors: overly optimistic expectations that disk in the backup process will eliminate tape and the sooner-than-anticipated wearing down of aging tape libraries.

"The old library was giving us fits and starts," says Creative Benefits' Taylor, "and I saved some big bucks on a fax server deal." He applied the money he saved toward a new Spectra Logic Corp. Spectra T50 tape library. While the T50 tape library solved his tape problem, Taylor doesn't view the new library as a final solution. "Our plan is to move to disk-based backup next year," he says.

New data protection technologies, like continuous data protection (CDP) and single-instance storage, are beginning to gain some traction among storage managers. For CDP, 22% of respondents say they already have or will implement it, while 45% will evaluate the technology. That latter number is down from the 50% reported in the spring, and may reflect the caution with which storage professionals approach data protection technologies that are significantly different from what they have in place.

There may be other issues besides revamping data protection schemes. The CME's Kulesa has an interest in CDP, but "so far we haven't seen any solution that can remotely keep up with our transaction rate."

This was first published in October 2006

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