Storage capacity buying decisions these days are influenced by two indisputable trends that have storage administrators at the center of a tug-of-war: IT budgets are being slashed or remain flat, while data continues to grow.
This four-part Storage Special Report explains the unique challenges storage professionals face in 2009. Our SearchStorage.com news team talks to storage professionals and industry analysts for practical tips on coping with increasing capacity and diminishing resources.
Storage administrators are bridging the gap between growing storage needs and shrinking or flat budgets by repurposing old hardware and aggressively pushing tiered storage policies to delay capital purchases until the economy improves.
Steve Terrell, senior Microsoft administrator at The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business in Columbus, said IT budgets at universities are almost always tight despite global economic factors. He uses Compellent's Storage Center SAN automated tiered storage to cut down on data on the most expensive tier 1 Fibre Channel (FC) disk.
While storage continues to double every year, the business school saved approximately $30,000 to $50,000 with its capacity purchase last year because most of it was SATA rather than FC disk. Terrell also estimated that Compellent's thin provisioning and space reclamation features have saved another 30% of the allocated capacity in the array.
→ Editor's Tip: Read this article to learn more about capacity planning in tough economic times.
Data from market research firms and interviews with storage admins underscore how those two factors are influencing buying decisions as the economy continues to struggle.
"We're predicting data growth rates at roughly 25% to 30%, and storage budgets up 3% in 2009," said Brian Babineau, senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). "People will have to buy smarter, use data-reduction technologies and manage retention wisely to improve utilization."
→ Editor's Tip: Read this article to learn more about the latest market research on capacity planning and purchasing.
→ Editor's Tip: Listen to SearchStorage.com Senior News Writer Beth Pariseau's interview with Arun Taneja.
Check out Kurtis Lindemann's answers to these commonly asked questions about assessing a customer's storage capacity needs, or download them as an MP3 file and take them with you to customer sites. Understand the key factors in assessing a customer's storage capacity needs, from hardware types to snapshot considerations to data growth rate – all toward the goal of keeping costs down and storage utilization up.