Midsize Businesses To Increase Storage Budgets By 10%

The Forrester Research survey also found that medium-sized businesses prefer to buy storage from their server vendors, making a strong case for the marketability of server-storage bundles.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

September 24, 2007

2 Min Read

Midsize businesses expect to increase their storage budgets by 10% next year, in order to meet the increasing needs for data protection and raw volume, a market research firm said Monday.

In addition, the recent survey by Forrester Research found that midsize businesses prefer to buy storage from a single vendor, and are most likely to purchase storage from their server vendor. As a result, the analyst firm recommends that system vendors create server-storage bundles that can be pushed through their reseller channels.

To serve midsize organizations even better, all storage vendors can differentiate their otherwise commoditized offerings by including comprehensive storage management software, Forrester said. Because midsize businesses typically have few IT staffers, this software should hide technical complexities and focus on ease of use.

Forrester's recommendations have already been put in place by some vendors. For example, IBM introduced last month an entry-level disk array for small and midsize businesses. The System Storage DS3300 features integrated management software and is the first product in IBM's DS3000 series to include support for the iSCSI protocol. The DS3300 is built to give SMBs a storage infrastructure that can be expanded as storage needs grow.

In April, IBM rival Hewlett-Packard unveiled storage resource management software for medium-sized businesses. SRM software is used in optimizing the capacity of storage area networks and network-attached storage. The announcement followed less than a week after HP upped the capacity of its All-in-One Storage System hardware, also aimed at midsize businesses, with the introduction of a third model to the product line.

Forrester's third-quarter survey, which covered firms with 100 to 999 employees, found that Dell and HP together were the preferred storage brands for 59% of midsize businesses. The same two vendors also dominated the server space, having a total of 83% of brand preference. IBM ran a distant third in both storage and server brand preference.

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