Behind the Storage Numbers

Commentary: What's really driving the explosive growth in storage? Michael Krieger of Ziff Davis Market Experts takes a look at the results of a recent Storage Buying study for some answers.

While reviewing the results of the just-released ZDME 2003 Storage Buying study, I noticed something was a bit odd. Although the average enterprise has seen storage demand increase, and expects to do so in the future, the percentage of companies that planned to buy specific technologies – such as DAS, SANs, or storage resource management software, seemed a bit low, which was also the case for the last such study we did about a year ago.

Well, if people are buying all kinds of storage, which they obviously are, then why arent they planning for it? For many enterprises, unplanned storage purchases are an almost everyday task.

Its all about what drives growth – between the leap in digital content, which can clog email-boxes with scores or hundreds of the same (choose your own – presentation, video clip, executable program, etc), and the desire to keep archives of everything – even mailboxes and instant message streams – whether or not due to government regulation, well, companies are just plum running out of storage for some applications and users.

Over half – 57% of end-users said they had developed new budget ( read unplanned purchase ) for a major storage purchase last year. And in the current economic climate, you can be sure these were critical purchases, not whims.

Digital content and archival requirements are just the beginning, though. As even SMB companies seek to enhance their on-line capabilities for customer self-service, better employee information, and data interchange with their suppliers and major customers, the 24 x 7 nature of the internet demands storage systems with higher availability, more redundancy, and better automation and management tools. The move to higher availability levels and better SLAs is a major driver of new storage deployment.

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