The importance of making the right storage decisions has never been greater: Without a strategy to provide the capacity your company needs, your networks and mission-critical applications will grind to a halt. Data centers are doubling their storage needs annually: According to Dataquest, about 299,344 terabytesor 299,344,000,000,000,000 bytesof disk storage for corporate networks and servers were purchased in the year 2000. That number will reach 7.18 million terabytes by 2005. That goes a long way toward explaining why U.K. IT research firm Butler Group predicts that storage hardware will account for two-thirds of the total annual IT hardware budget by 2003.
Thankfully, the price of raw disk storage will continue to fall, accelerating to an annual average decrease of 41 percent. With so much at stake, how do you think through a corporate storage strategy? This decision tree from Michael Krieger, a vice president with Ziff Davis Market Experts, can help you choose between server- and network-based options.