Data storage priorities 2010: data backup, capacity growth and disaster
The top three data storage priorities for 2010
are data backup (48%), adding capacity (37%) and disaster recovery (DR) (36%).
This is according to enterprise data storage managers responding to Storage
Priorities for 2010 survey. In fact, in the three years we've fielded the
survey, those have been among the top three priorities for each coming year.
However, data deduplication for primary storage, solid-state storage and cloud
storage are quickly gaining ground.
As storage managers begin to dig themselves out
of a blizzard of lousy economic news, they're likely to find themselves facing
the same capacity demands that shaped their plans before their budgets went into
the deep freeze. They expect to add an average of 45 TB of new disk capacity
this year, according to the survey. That's approximately 6 TB more than they
anticipated adding a year ago when the economic repercussions were not yet fully
Large and smaller businesses alike will feel
the capacity crunch. Bigger organizations -- those with revenue exceeding $1
billion -- plan to add nearly 80 TB of fresh disk space, while companies with
less than $100 million in revenue will add another 25 TB of capacity to their
Storage budgets will grow – modestly in many
cases – to help keep up with new capacity demands. Respondents indicate an
overall average rise of 3.2% for their 2010 budgets compared to last year.
Forty-five percent said they expect their budgets to increase by at least 5%.
Playing catch-up with capacity tends to create
a ripple effect through storage environments, affecting nearly everything from
data protection to new technology implementations. But that's not to suggest
that storage managers will just be trying to catch their breath in 2010 -- most
still have fairly ambitious to-do lists involving some of the newest storage
Solid-state storage, data deduplication for
primary systems top disk priorities
While dishing up new disk to meet those
capacity demands might take precedence, storage managers are gung-ho about a
couple of cutting edge data storage technologies: solid-state storage and data
deduplication for primary systems. Approximately 7% of respondents said they use
solid-state storage, but 14% said they have implementation plans for solid state
on their 2010 calendars. Add to that the nearly 40% who said they'll evaluate
solid-state storage this year and it's clear that data storage managers have
gotten beyond the dollar-per-gigabyte comparisons with hard disks and are ready
to reap the performance, conservation and space benefits of solid state.
Interest in primary data deduplication is even
stronger as storage managers struggle to gain an upper hand on capacity growth.
Data deduplication for backup has been the hottest storage technology for a
couple of years, although our surveys indicate that implementation is still
fairly modest with approximately 20% to 25% of enterprise data storage shops
using it. However, that hasn't dampened interest in applying the same techniques
to primary or nearline storage. On the Storage Priorities survey, 17% are
currently deduping at least some of their non-backup storage, and another 20%
have set their sights on adding it in 2010. And like solid state, another 40%
will give it a serious look and evaluate it in the coming year.
And while squeezing out every bit of capacity
may be the top priority, squeezing a few bucks out of the electric bill doesn't
seem to be quite as important. While 54% said that power conservation is
important to them when buying disk systems -- 6 points higher than last year --
only 12% said it's important enough to determine a final product choice.
Cloud storage under serious consideration
With just about every storage vendor purporting
to offer a cloud storage service or product, you might expect that storage
managers' eyes would be glazed over from all the hype. That might have been true
a year ago, but our survey shows that they're taking it quite seriously now.
Current usage is still almost non-existent,
with only 4% using a cloud service for some of their primary or online storage
needs. Another 9% plan a leap into the cloud this year, with 27% saying they'll
give it a careful look. Although there's been a fair amount of confusion about
what constitutes "internal cloud storage," apparently a few have figured it out:
7% have one and 9% plan to bring the cloud into their shops in 2010.
Interest in using cloud services for data
protection is a bit more cautious, with 3% to 4% noting that they're using a
cloud storage service for data archiving, disaster recovery or backup. And for
each of those disciplines, another 5% to 6% said they'll rely on cloud-based
services this year.
Dedupe tops data protection wish list, but
CDP and data archiving rising
With two of the three overall top storage
priorities related to data protection, it's no surprise that storage managers
are focusing on backup and DR. Data deduplication continues to be the likeliest
new technology to be added to backup operations, with 61% either deploying or
evaluating it on top of the 23% current dedupe users. This is the third straight
year data deduplication for backup has topped storage managers' data protection
After dedupe, interest was evenly spread across
four technologies -- continuous data protection (CDP), data archiving, backup
for virtual servers and remote replication -- with each garnering 46% to 49% of
respondents planning implementations or evaluations. Among already in-use data
protection technologies, replication was the highest (36%), with backup software
for virtual servers close behind (32%). The virtual server backup number is
particularly interesting, as it suggests that users have begun to implement
backup software with specific features for virtual server environments.
Disk continues to elbow tape out of the backup
picture, although we're seeing more of a nudge than a shove. Fifty-six percent
of respondents said they won't buy any tape hardware in 2010, while 24% said a
tape library purchase was planned (down five points from last year). On the flip
side, 42% said they would add a new storage array to the backup environment,
while another 31% plan to build up existing backup disk systems with additional
disk drives. Only 26% have no plans to buy any backup disk hardware.
The SearchStorage.com Storage Priorities for
2010 survey was fielded in early December 2009. The 360 respondents embodied a
broad range of industries, with the highest representation in financial/banking
(12%), government (12%), healthcare/pharmaceuticals (11%) and computer
All sizes of companies were represented: 33%
had annual revenue greater than $1 billion, 25% had revenue of $100 million to
$1 billion, and 42% had revenue of less than $100 million.