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And a happy new year?

Will 2002 bring a robust selling season to storage vendors? This experts cited in this tip say "Yes!"

And a happy new year?
By Alan Earls

What's ahead for 2002? Enterprise Storage Group Analyst Arun Taneja is betting that the new year will be a big year for storage. Why? Quite simply, it's a matter of pent-up demand. Although budgets got tighter and tighter as 2001 progressed, data accumulation never stopped: Web sites still brought in new data, the CRM application kept running and amassing more info about customers' buying habits, etc.

Many organizations had actually accumulated excess storage capacity during the fat years -- though it sometimes took some work to identify and make use of that capacity. But now, that cushion is almost gone. "Since the storage utilization was anywhere from 30 to 50 percent anyway, they were able to find capacity -- I think we are approaching an end to finding capacity in house," says Taneja.

Based on that logic, Taneja says he expects that storage sales will pick up since the alternative is "dropping data on the floor." Taneja notes that it isn't easy to increase storage utilization in a DAS environment: "You have to rearchitect a SAN or a SAN+NAS environment." That means "better times ahead" -- and soon -- for storage vendors. "I expect that storage management software sales will increase dramatically in 2002 along with storage," he says.

Carolyn DiCenzo, a chief analyst in Gartner Dataquest also sees strong growth for storage management software because "increased awareness and need for disaster recovery has caused growth in demand for networked backup products." Additionally, she notes, storage is the largest component of the enterprise computing budget and still the most under-utilized resource.

Taneja, however, offers one note of caution. "I think the times of spending money like water are gone for a long time maybe forever, so we will not see crazy spending. But, even market-driven spending will have a very positive impact."

About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer residing in Franklin, Mass.

Additional Resources:
1. What is the roll of storage management software?
IT professionals today face increasingly difficult challenges in managing rapidly growing enterprise-wide storage resources in heterogeneous networks. This tip covers the basics of storage management software, how to choose a vendor/product, and how storage management software can increase productivity and decrease administrative costs.

2. Is there a methodology I can use when choosing a vendor?
A searchStorage forum user identified as RK posted this question, which got a ton of responses. One set seemed particularly apt, and we formatted it into a tip for users. Forum user Devaisha offered a five-point methodology for selecting a storage vendor.

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