'Bells and whistles' will have to wait
Greg Schulz, principal analyst at StorageIO and author of a new book coming out this fall, "The Green and Virtual Data Center" (Auerbach, $69.95), told me that "certainly there will be a tightening of the belt, so to speak, on discretionary spending on upgrades or new products, hardware, software, networks or services that are nice to have."
However, Schulz said, the focus will be on technologies "that can do more in a smaller footprint -- that footprint being power, cooling, floor-space, and time in a given density. This means servers [will be needed] that can do more work in a smaller space, storage for active data that can do more IOPS or bandwidth or files or e-mails or videos streamed per watt in a given footprint.
"Or -- for inactive and idle data -- more capacity in a given footprint and cost point [will be desirable]."
What's discretionary will vary by organizations, Schulz said. For example, some enterprises will defer migration from tape to disk for a period of time to leverage what they already have, while others will make the jump as a means of boosting productivity, he said.
"Where this gets interesting is when you look at the financial systems that are being stressed by all of the extreme trading activity that are having to work overtime to process the transactions, settlements, support analysis, and increased queries of regulators, analysts and people wanting to know what their 401k are worth," Schulz said.
"Unlike 2001 and 2002, post-Y2K and dot-com bust as well as post-9/11, there is not as much of a glut of underutilized technology deployed today as in the past," Schulz said.
"Ironically, all of the emphasis recently on consolidation may have already evaporated some of that, hence, we could actually see a boost or at least sustain a little dip in core/bread-and-butter IT technologies while the nice-to-have, bells-and-whistles features get hit harder."