Storage Outlook '06: Driving up utilization

Anne Fisher, storage consultant at British Telecom, is challenged with driving up storage utilization to avoid data center floor space costs.

Anne Fisher, storage consultant with British Telecom in the U.K., talks to SearchStorage.com about her company's storage plans for 2006.

What's your most important storage project for 2006?

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Anne Fisher: Data center consolidation and storage optimization. We need to drive up the utilization of our storage. We cannot afford to keep using up data center floor space.

What are the key storage trends in your industry?

Fisher: Virtualization seems to be the key thing this coming year. Everyone wants to virtualize the servers and virtualize the storage. It's a bit like the VM mainframe system from IBM.

What do you think will be the biggest hurdles to implementing storage in the coming year?

Fisher: Hardware is becoming cheaper, although still not cheap enough compared to prices in the States, and software is becoming more complex, and is far too expensive. Plus, the software is becoming more and more critical to actually making the storage work properly.

What storage technologies are you evaluating for 2006? What looks interesting to you?

Fisher: IBM's SAN volume controller, global file systems, more use of SATA drives and WAFS [wide-area file services]are all in the list to be looked at.

What kind of staff changes do you expect, if any, in 2006? What skills are you looking for your staff to gain?

Fisher: We would like more staff, but skilled storage staff seem to be in short supply, especially those with design skills. So I guess it will be about doing more work with the same number of people.

How do you see your storage utilization changing for the coming year?

Fisher: We need to drive up the utilization of storage by the host.

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