It’s that time of year again. Major product announcements are scarce as we head into the holiday season, but the storage vendors are attempting to fill the December news void with a series of surveys that gauge the challenges facing end users in 2009.
How do you stack up against your peers when it comes to storage planning for next year?
Virtual tape library (VTL) and de-duplication vendor SEPATON recently conducted a survey of IT pros in U.S.-based corporations to get a feel for what challenges they will face around data protection, business objectives and technology requirements for enterprise data centers in 2009.
Of the 145 respondents – all from enterprise companies with at least 1,000 employees and a minimum of 50TB of primary data to protect – 52% say their data protection is insufficient, citing a “lack of budget to keep pace with technology” as the cause.
The research also reveals that backup is still the scourge of many enterprise organizations. Fifty-three percent of respondents need more than 20 hours to complete a full backup, while 37% say they need more than 24 hours to complete a full backup.
According to the SEPATON survey, users are planning to turn to new technologies such as data de-duplication in order to maintain service levels and regulatory compliance.
More than 90% of respondents are either using de-dupe now or want to use it. Of those who do not have de-dupe, 55% are allocating dollars for the technology in 2009.
In addition, a majority of the respondents are using physical tape, but fewer than 50% expect to be using tape one year from now as they increase their use of disk-based technologies like disk-to-disk, VTL appliances, or VTL gateways.
Backup pains aren’t just a problem for big IT shops. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) also rate backup as a top priority and an all-around pain in the neck, according to a recent study commissioned by Symantec and conducted by Rubicon Consulting.
Backup ranks as the second-highest computing priority for SMBs, after defense against viruses and other malware, according to responses IT decision-makers at several hundred small businesses (with fewer than 250 employees).
Ninety-two percent of companies poled have deployed some form of data backup technology, yet 50% of those respondents have lost data. Of the companies that lost data, roughly a third have lost sales, 20% have lost customers and 25% say the data loss caused severe disruptions to the company.
Some of the results were disconcerting, given how destructive data loss can be to SMBs. Approximately 25% of SMBs don’t backup their PCs at all and 13% do only informal backups where employees decide the frequency and which files are protected, according to Rubicon. Additionally, about 20% of SMBs conduct no server backups.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) recently revealed the results of its own commissioned survey of chief information officers (CIOs) conducted by Hansa |GCR.
The Web survey of 600 technology decision-makers from medium-sized organizations to enterprises across the globe shows that 84% of tech organizations plan to “transform” their data centers in the next 12 months as they look to lower operating costs and reduce business risks through technology.
So-called "data center transformation" projects typically include consolidation, virtualization and business continuity initiatives.
According to the study, 31% of respondents say reducing cost is a top priority for ’09, while 29% plan to enhance data security. The decision-makers also say that technology needs – not business needs – are prompting these investments.
The survey also shows that 95% of organizations are implementing or planning for data center consolidation next year, while 93% and 91% are embarking on business continuity and virtualization projects, respectively.
The research may be sponsored by vendors, but, for the most part, it is in line with a lot of the third party research covered on InfoStor.com. Stay tuned as we track these predictions over the next several months.
Kevin Komiega has been the Senior Editor of InfoStor since 2005. He was previously a senior news writer with SearchStorage.com and held a position as a public relations account executive with Porter Novelli, Boston. Kevin also spent four years running tape backup operations at the University of Rhode Island's Academic Computer Center. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.