ILM a higher priority than security

By Ann Silverthorn

A recent survey conducted by GlassHouse Technologies, a storage consulting and services provider, reveals that IT organizations will focus primarily on increasing storage infrastructure efficiencies and holding down costs this year. The 2006 Storage Budget Survey also shows that respondents view information lifecycle management (ILM) as a key means to controlling costs. In fact, ILM moved from being only a secondary concern last year to being a primary concern for companies of all sizes this year (see table).

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Plans for ILM eclipsed storage security (and virtualization) this year, despite the many high-profile breaches in data security throughout 2005. A previous survey by GlassHouse indicated that 54% of the respondents had no documented procedures in place for protecting data from theft or tampering.

According to GlassHouse, most companies only use 25% of their total storage capacity, and they continue to buy more capacity to hedge against future data growth. Using ILM technology, data is actively managed from the time it is created until it is destroyed, rather than warehousing it indefinitely. The majority of the 100 respondents in the recent GlassHouse survey see ILM as a means to control costs through more-efficient asset allocation.

Companies of all sizes are focused on utilization savings, according to the survey (see figure, below). Larger companies want to save money in more areas than smaller companies, also focusing on savings in unit costs, archiving, and staff/management.

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Larger companies (total IT budget of more than $25 million) are also more likely (63%) to include staff and management costs in their storage budgets along with the traditional hardware costs. Only about 33% of smaller companies (total IT budget of less than $25 million) include staff and management costs in their storage budgets (see figure, below). GlassHouse states that an integrated storage budgeting approach would include hardware, software, environmental, and personnel costs. Only 20% of the companies surveyed include environmental costs in their storage budgets.

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“All of these non-hardware costs are important to understand. While the cost of storage and backup equipment is certainly high, companies must understand the total cost of delivering storage services if they are to make improvements,” according to the GlassHouse report.

For full results of the survey, go to www.glass house.com/budgets.

This is the second in a series of surveys on data storage issues planned by GlassHouse Technologies. The first one, 2005 Storage Security Survey, released in November 2005, is available at www.glasshouse.com/results.

This article was originally published on March 01, 2006