New Study Forecasts Enterprise Storage to Grow at 90% Through 2004

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With the demand for data storage showing no signs of abating, IT organizations are turning to new approaches for managing storage volumes, according to a new META Group’s study ‘Enterprise Storage: Technology Adoption and Deployment Trends.’

The study — based on a recent META Group survey of IT professionals — indicates that 60% of IT organizations will turn to enterprise storage consolidation solutions to improve utilization, lower cost of ownership, and increase return on storage investments. Respondents also anticipate a 90% growth rate through 2004.

“Storage volumes are growing at phenomenal rates, yet IT organizations cannot justify ballooning storage budgets,” said Sean Derrington, a META Group analyst who co-authored the study. “Storage consolidation solutions are now being adopted within mainstream IT organizations, because they realize a flexible, consolidated infrastructure can help manage the increased demands for data availability and evolving application requirements without breaking the budget.”

IT organizations expect budget allocations for overall storage services, storage hardware, and software infrastructure to be constant year over year — a percentage of total IT budgets. “If not tightly controlled, costs tend to increase because business requirements have become more complex,” said Derrington. “Another important factor of complexity is the storage technology itself, which offers various solutions — from offline storage devices, to network-attached storage (NAS) and storage-area networks (SANs). It is critical that users first understand which problems they are trying to solve.”

Key findings of the report include;

  • Backup and recovery, including disaster recovery capabilities, remains the number-one spending priority.
  • ROI represents the main challenge for storage consolidation initiatives.
  • Significant drop-off exists for the adoption of individual tape and dedicated storage for servers; there is also a strong propensity toward the use of SANs. The percentage of respondents looking at NAS implementations is expected to remain flat through 2004.
  • Enforced storage policies and centralized storage administration are needed.

The intent of the report, which is based on a survey of 328 senior-level IT professionals, is to provide an insight into how organizations plan and budget for an enterprise storage infrastructure and, more specifically, for storage-area networks (SANs), network-attached storage (NAS), and storage operations.

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