Research: 2010 State of Storage

Jan 28, 2010


Breaking Point: 2010 State Of Storage Report

The best thing we can say about 2009 is that it’s over. As we struggled through one of the sharpest economic downturns in modern history, organizations of all types and sizes had to deal with abrupt reductions in budgets and staffing. CIOs were forced to run much tighter ships, with capital expenditures postponed or put on hold indefinitely. Not exactly a banner year for introducing innovative technologies or rolling out major new initiatives, even if our storage infrastructures ARE ready to burst at the seams.

In fact, our InformationWeek Analytics 2010 State of Storage survey of 331 business technology professionals reveals an alarming state of affairs: When asked about their top concerns when it comes to storage, nearly half say they have insufficient storage resources for mission-critical applications. In contrast, in 2009, data loss was the top worry of 51%, while just 30% cited a lack of resources. Other woes also reflect a grim financial picture: More say they have insufficient budgets to meet business demands, insufficient tools for storage management and insufficient storage resources for departmental/individual use compared with our 2009 poll.

Conversely, fewer respondents were concerned with a lack of sufficient disaster recovery planning and preparedness (26% vs. 32%), perhaps an indication that in 2009 the focus of storage managers was more on utilization of existing storage and availability of resources and less on new purchases and initiatives. Some things did stay relatively static; there was precious little change in the makeup of major storage technologies implemented, for example, and with the exception of EMC’s acquisition of Data Domain, which represented a major shakeup of the deduplication market, there were no significant M&A activities in 2009.

The trend for 2010 is toward more efficient utilization of existing resources, judging by the top four planned projects: improved allocation of storage (51% in 2010 vs. 45% in 2009), reclaiming unused storage (47% vs. 32%), improved capacity planning (42% vs. 38%), and monitoring storage utilization (42% vs. 35%). We did see a few hints of growth. There was a smaller than we’d like uptick in interest in storage virtualization and a significant increased interest in cloud storage services (34% in 2010 vs. 19% in 2009). There also appears to be greater interest in and acceptance of deduplication. However, the continued abysmal showing of thin provisioning, which holds great promise for better utilization of resources, and almost total lack of interest in MAID and its potential benefits in reduction of power and cooling requirements, are puzzling, particularly given current market trends that otherwise point to our desire to maximize utilization of storage resources and reduce the carbon footprint of IT operations.

In this report, we’ll examine the winners and losers and share our recommendations for the top technology and process improvements enterprises should consider in the coming year. For example, while SANs have promised consolidation and better utilization of storage for some time now, the sharp economic downturn may finally force organizations to take this issue seriously—often for the first time. (850210)

Survey Name: InformationWeek Analytics 2010 State of Enterprise
Storage Survey
Survey Date: November 2009
Region: North America
Number of Respondents: 309

Research Report