ILM Drives Surge in Storage Services Page 2


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Easy Does It
IDC reports that customers are most interested in tiered storage as a means of making storage management easier, to improve information access, reduce costs and meet compliance requirements. Compliance, however, is an area where companies are reluctant to commit to an increase in services budgets. Only 11 percent of those surveyed agreed that compliance equated to an increase in services spending.

“ILM will drive the services market as companies strive to migrate data to different classes of storage according to perceived value.”
When it comes to delivering services, therefore, companies will be looking for help to choose the right architecture and to organize information among the various storage tiers. While some hardware/software combos may take care of some aspects of tiering, the reality is that the complexity of modern storage environments will drive enterprises to bring in outside help to design and implement an efficient tiered storage structure.

Economical, high-capacity media will be used to facilitate backup and rapid restore, leaving higher performance storage for transactional data and tape archiving or other media for archiving.

"High-capacity, low-cost hard disk drives are ripe for fixed content and tape backup facilitation," said Dave Reinsel, an analyst at IDC. "By 2007, as few as 21 percent of the units shipped will account for over 40 percent of the TB's of storage."

Not surprisingly, vendors are working hard to satisfy the growing demand for high capacity, low-cost arrays. And according to IDC, this will fuel further growth in storage services.

Similarly, ILM will drive the services market as companies strive to migrate data to different classes of storage according to perceived value. IDC says ILM and tiered storage are a close fit. Essentially, ILM systems and processes will manage and organize information according to a hierarchy as follows:

  • High performance enterprise arrays – for high-performance applications
  • Performance-optimized mid tier disk arrays – offering good performance and rapid access
  • Capacity optimized disk arrays – for streaming media, disk-to-disk backup and staging
  • Archival storage – for near-line storage, removable media, offline and archival storage.
As you move up the ladder, of course, costs increase. But that is far more acceptable than buying an expensive storage system and filling it with everything you have.

Cost is King
While services represent a burgeoning market, the continuation of frugality with regard to budgets means that services are still a tough sell. Those thriving in the marketplace typically wrap those services around integration, outsourcing and product support. And, they present them as a smart way to cut costs.

"Customers are focused on driving down costs and driving up utilization," said Chandler. "Services, therefore, must be sold and delivered in this context."

Adapted from Enterprise IT Planet.com

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