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Storage Continues To Garner Support

Network-attached storage and storage area networks are a lot like closet organizers--each offers a central place to stash things and the prospect of easy access, even if what's being kept isn't needed regularly.
Network-attached storage and storage area networks are a lot like closet organizers--each offers a central place to stash things and the prospect of easy access, even if what's being kept isn't needed regularly.

NAS is still the easier of the two to implement. A company can buy an appliance for $5,000, attach it to a pre-existing IP network, punch some keys for 10 minutes, and have a storage network up and running. But don't look for this type of setup to manage online customer databases. Such databases, like other high-volume or high-performance processes, still lead businesses to pay a lot of money for a separate Fibre Channel-based SAN that requires switches and host bus adapters between servers and more expensive storage systems.

Business-technology executives recognize the need for innovation in storage. Interest in NAS and SANs is holding steady at a pace that would thrill most vendors, according to InformationWeek Research's latest Evolving IT Priorities report, which monitors IT strategies on a quarterly basis from the perspective of 300 business-technology executives.

In the second quarter of 2003, slightly more than half of executives, 52%, report that a storage network is in their company's plans. That's up from 41% in the first quarter of the year and up from 48% compared with a year ago. Although fewer large companies are rolling out storage networks this year compared with last, the 55% that are doing so still tops the 53% of midsize and 49% of small companies doing the same. Achieving a return on investment for storage networks takes time, though, so companies with more financial resources will probably always lead the way.

How do you expect your company's storage requirements to change in 2003? Let us know at the address below.

Martin A. Garvey
Senior Editor
[email protected]


Ripple Effect
Is improving IT operations to make better use of servers and storage a business priority?

Companies are fixed on beefing up the necessary infrastructure to make their storage facilities operate more effectively. When asked if improving IT operations to make better use of servers and storage is a business priority, three in five executives at companies with annual revenue of $1 billion or more report it is a priority. Half of executives at smaller companies say the same.


Focus On The Enterprise
Is your IT division planning to implement or support enterprise storage in 2003?

Select departments and business processes might be reaping the benefits of increased company storage, but most companies are looking beyond selected rewards. Half of the sites surveyed in InformationWeek Research's Evolving IT Priorities: 2Q 2003 study say that IT is planning to implement and support strategies to facilitate the storage needs of the enterprise as a whole.


Growth Fluctuations
Are storage area networks on your IT division's planned project list?

Commitment to storage networks might have weakened slightly among larger companies surveyed by InformationWeek Research in the past year, but support among smaller businesses isn't showing similar slippage. Over the last year, a growing number of sites with annual revenue below $1 billion report getting behind storage networks. Only midsize companies show a steady growth in SANs over the last three years, going from 43% of sites in 2001 to 53% now.


Efficiency Seekers
Will your IT division support storage area networks this year?

One SAN has the ability to replace 50 direct attached storage components, allowing companies to replace a multitude of storage units with one centralized storage system. It's no wonder, then, that storage area networks remain a high priority. The benefits of adequate storage are too effective to overlook, regardless of a company's business strategy, whether it's to generate new revenue, simplify operations, or both.