Know what your peers are doing

I have to admit that I am a sucker for surveys. None of us have the time to call hundreds of storage professionals to find out which way the wind is blowing. As such, we have to rely on third-party surveys. Some are good, and some are worthless.

One of our cover stories this month provides some interesting results from a survey conducted by TheInfoPro (TIP) research firm in New York. I like this survey for a number of reasons:

  • It's extensive. Most surveys are quick fill-in-the-blank questionnaires, but the TIP survey consisted of interviews lasting an average of 50 minutes per participant.
  • It's based on peer-to-peer research. Many of the interviewers were IT professionals themselves. As such, one assumes they knew how to drill down and ask the right questions.
  • The survey polled only IT storage professionals whose primary job function was storage-specific. This is in contrast to surveys that poll generic "IT executives," who may or may not know what's going on in the storage part of their IT landscape.
  • In addition to asking many questions about trends (mostly related to storage networking and management software), the researchers asked a lot of questions about specific vendors, and the 152 participants ranked the vendors in a number of categories.

Users don't hold back when they're asked to rank vendors (at least not when they're guaranteed anonymity), and the 100+ pages of user "narratives" are in a way the most interesting part of these lengthy reports.

If you're interested in participating in future TIP surveys (end-user participants get access to the results), or if you're interested in purchasing the reports, contact the researchers at tel: (212) 726-7117, e-mail: info@TheInfoPro.net, or www.TheInfoPro.net.


Every IT storage professional knows that backup is sluggish drudgery. The best you can say about it is that it's a necessary evil.

In our Special Report this month, senior technical editor Heidi Biggar uncovers some of the dirty secrets behind backup and recovery. If you're not sure whether your backups are being completed successfully, well, you're not alone. Of course, she also provides some tips on how to bolster your backup-and-recovery practices. Backup will still be boring, but you'll have a better chance of restoring your data if you improve your backup procedures.

Dave Simpson,

This article was originally published on August 01, 2002