Large organizations are facing strong challenges
- An average storage growth of 30% a year – and accelerating
- 89% of organizations identify the provision of disaster recovery capabilities as a key challenge over the next two years
- An average 2008 increase of only 6.3% in storage budgets to manage data growth and improved service levels
Significant storage pain points exist
- 57% of organizations are not prepared to face major IT incidents
- 51% of organizations have little or no visibility of the information outside the data centre
There are winning storage strategies and best practices
- Continuing investment in networked storage with FC SAN still a clear favorite over IP SAN and NAS
- Accelerating use of tiered storage to optimize cost
The findings of a new IDC European User Survey of medium and large organizations sponsored by Bull confirms that IT organizations are continuing to struggle with the economic impact and management issues of increasing volumes of data, and of managing and protecting ever-increasing amounts of business-critical information distributed throughout the organization and beyond the reach of central IT organizations.
The wide-ranging study looks at the storage challenges, pain points and strategies of IT organizations with the objective of helping IT managers to benchmark their own organizations with their peers in order to refine their own storage strategies and priorities.
Karim Bahloul, Consulting Director at IDC who led the study observes: ”This study surveyed the storage challenges of medium and large organizations throughout the major Western European IT markets and across multiple vertical sectors including local and central government, finance, industry, retail, health, service, telecom and utilities. This study has confirmed a number of widely-held beliefs such as the importance of business continuity, and the challenge of data growth – but also draws attention to other issues that have received much less attention, such as the lack of visibility and control of large amounts of business critical data distributed throughout organizations.”
Storage growth - compounding multiple storage issues
The study confirms that storage growth is the number one challenge faced by IT organizations, although users forecast their own storage growth over the next two years at an average of only 30% – half of the 60% annual worldwide growth in data volumes – although this rate of data growth is accelerating. This confirms that data growth is non-uniform between organizations, and indicates that large organizations have already absorbed a certain amount of data growth through long-running de-materialization projects and are currently less exposed to the hyper-growth observed in personal data and in specific industry sectors such as media.
Email continues to be cited as the major driver for data growth, although number two on the list was traditional ERP/CRM applications confirming the continuing de-materialization of core business processes. In response to this growth, users are planning to deploy a combination of storage initiatives including data de-duplication, tiered storage, storage consolidation and, above all, centralized storage administration.
Another key finding was that assuring business continuity is cited as a top priority for 89% of respondents, with 57% of the European companies stating that they do not know how to adequately face a major IT incident.
Finally, the study highlights a worrying trend for new types of critical business information such as file and PC data to be distributed throughout the organization and beyond the reach of corporate data management and protection procedures. 51% of respondents stated that they have little or no visibility of the information outside of the data centre.
Valuable insights for more effective storage strategies
Benoit Hallez, Director of Bull’s StoreWay storage solution business unit stated: “This study gives valuable insights into the storage problems faced by businesses on a daily basis, and provides a valuable tool for our customers to better define their own storage management priorities, and for us as a global storage integrator, to deliver more effective storage solutions. In January 2008 we launched a strong portfolio of data protection solutions that respond directly to many of the preoccupations identified in the survey, including for example cost-effective disaster recovery over IP networks, and classification and protection of the unstructured data that organizations are struggling to manage. We continue to strengthen our product & service offering in response to these changing customer needs. Most recently, we announced in April our new StoreWay DPAs (Data Protection Appliances) that provide effective, simple-to-use data protection for remote sites, directly addressing one of the major issues identified by the study”.
The full study can be downloaded at http://www.bull.com/storage/wp.html, and the results of this survey are being presented by Bull and IDC in a series of European data protection seminars.