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Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) & Serial ATA Drives are the ?Hottest? Storage Technologies

TheInfoPro (TIP),, recently completed Wave 5 of their bi-annual study of the Storage Networking & Storage Management markets based on in-depth interviews with hundreds of European, North American Fortune 1000 & mid-market storage pros. TIP has been studying the storage market since 2002 affording unprecedented historical data which allows a comparison of the results every six months in the form of a Time Series study. The study focused on larger European companies


Date: 1 Sep 2005

SAN and NAS capacity on the rise however the planned growth is off from the Wave 4 Study. Anticipated SAN growth is 39% for 2005, off of an average installed base of 200 TB. Planned NAS growth is at 29%, off of an average installed base of 50 TB. In comparison Wave 4, which was completed in the Fall of 2004 SAN capacity growth was pegged at 44% while NAS was slated to grow 60%. TIP has seen the growth rates match or exceed expectations particularly with NAS as for Wave 4 the companies interviewed had on average 13TB of NAS and they now have an average of 50TB.

Technology Roadmaps: Serial ATA and ILM lead the way

Leading the way in TIP?s industry standard ?Technology Heat Index? for the Storage Networking Study is Serial ATA drives followed by the Multi-protocol Switch / Storage Router and Virtual Tape Libraries (VTLs). The proprietary index factors in the current and planned usage of over 20 different storage networking technologies and is based on the immediacy of users? need for each technology (as reflected in their implementation plans) weighted by their storage spending. The Heat Index is designed to show relative demand for a technology or, from a vendor?s perspective, the size of the market opportunity. The ascent of Serial ATA to the top spot is reflective of the move to Tiered Storage and the desire to not treat all data equally.

IP SAN was the hottest technology for Wave 4 but ?cooled off? with planned implementations getting pushed out until 2006. Like their counterparts in North America, European storage pros continue to view IP SANs as ?next year?s? technology. In TIP?s Adoption Index the score for IP SANs is quite low signifying upside once companies get comfortable with the technology and most importantly, the vendor?s offerings. Another technology that scored well in Wave 4 but has also slipped in Wave 5 is Fabric based Intelligence. In 2004 there was enthusiasm around moving functionality into the Switch / Network however the early momentum behind this approach subsided mainly due to trying to determine what functionality makes the most sense: on the host, on the array or in the fabric.

In the companion Heat Index for over 20 storage management technologies the top spot is assumed by Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), followed by Disk to Disk for Back up and Storage Resource Management (SRM). ILM was defined as the policies, processes, practices, and tools used to align the business value of information with the most appropriate and cost-effective IT infrastructure from the time information is conceived through its final disposition.

Vendor promotion of ILM is resonating with the Storage Pro evidenced by its elevation from the number 7 slot in TIP?s Wave 4 study all the way to number 1 in Wave 4. It appears the vision of ILM is being bought into, and the move we are seeing to Tiered Storage vis a vis Serial ATA drives sets the table. However, a high bar has been raised and storage pros are looking for an encompassing, automated solution. A hallmark of TIP?s research is the detailed narrative commentary captured in the one-on-one interviews, and the narratives on ILM were very telling citing the need for ?robust solutions? that entail: Backup, Policy Management, Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) for the right tier, Compliance, Data Mobility tools, Data Classification tools and Naming Services. Some cited the current offerings as a ?rude awakening? with no mature suite readily available.

SRM was the hottest technology in the Wave 4 Study and experienced increased adoption between waves of the study as now over 40% of the commentators have implemented SRM up from 20% only 6 months prior.

The report notes that the most popular technologies reflect the move to lower-cost storage tiers as companies begin to implement information/data life-cycle management, alleviate the pain caused by tape-based backup/recovery, and meet the requirements of compliance regulations and business continuity mandates.

Storage Budgets on the rise compared to Wave 4

Despite the move to lower cost tiers, SAN, NAS and Switch spending looks to be stable to up in 2005. Several drivers were discussed, including: a technology refresh planned for older infrastructure, the need to build out secondary sites for Remote Operations ? specifically Data Mirroring, compliance and continued organic growth.

As noted previously there is a healthy growth rate of both SAN and NAS capacity expected in 2005 in Europe. Even with the move to lower cost tiers, 75% of the companies are planning to spend the same or more in 2005 on SANs. For NAS the spending numbers are even more impressive with 65% planning to spend the same or more in 2005. Spending on Switches is also healthy with a full 40% planning to spend more compared to less than 30% that plan to spend less.

The Storage Management space is maturing in Europe and starting to see more of spend with the adoption of SRM and planned roll out of functionality to deploy ILM and Email Management. Hardware still dominates the greatest portion of the storage budget, at almost 60%, however we are seeing software capturing almost 25% up from 19% in the Wave 4 study.


Tags: Cloud Storage, Compliance, Deduplication, Disk/RAID/Tape/SSDs, Tiered Storage, Data Centres, SAN/NAS

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