Preparing for the Worst
Although storage spending has slipped overall, in
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CTOs have never been sloppy on security, but the threat of terrorism has made U.S. companies painfully aware of potential vulnerability. No surprise, then, that disaster recovery and data protection rank as the most important factors driving spending for 42 percent of our readers. In addition, our respondents are dedicating one quarter of their budget to acquire new tape libraries, drives, and media.
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No doubt a similar motivation underlies the high percentage of respondents who cite e-mail as the leading growth factor. The unrelenting increase in spam must also have played a role. Moreover, enterprise users continue to demand quick access to old mail, prodding storage administrators to throw more hardware at mail stores whether they like it or not. Exacerbating matters, end-users often employ e-mail as a kind of content management system, using e-mail folders to hold original copies of messages and attached files.
Data growth and the need to maintain backup windows consistent with business demands continue to drive the purchase of disk drives, backup devices, and networking equipment. A striking 41 percent of spending planned for this year will go to adding capacity and performance with new disk arrays. A significant portion of that will be networked storage: On average, companies will dedicate 17 percent of their budget to extend or improve their network.
Making the Most of It
Asked to name the two top priorities for storage spending next year, our respondents show a consistent resolve to increase the effectiveness of their storage solutions, dividing their preferences evenly between improving management and promoting better use of their resources. Nonetheless, it's a well-known fact that growth in demand -- and an enduring preference for performance over administrative discipline -- results in ad-hoc purchases that leave many companies with more capacity than they really need.
It's only fair to conclude that adding more storage on top of already oversized capacity is a necessary evil that our respondents cannot avoid, even as the intention to do more with less persists. In response, many storage vendors are investing significant R&D dollars to simplify management, reduce incompatibilities, and reduce cost per terabyte.