E-mail traffic fuelling investments in data storage infrastructure
West European companies are accelerating the expansion of their storage resources to better protect themselves against data loss and to ensure the efficient operation of applications such as e-mail. This is the conclusion of an IDC survey conducted in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia from the end of 2007 to early 2008. The IT professionals questioned in the survey were responsible within their companies either for storage infrastructure management or purchasing of systems.
At 25 per cent of all the applications mentioned, e-mail was ranked top as the most important application type into which companies are directing their future storage investments. File sharing is also a high priority. In comparison, customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce and compliance with regulatory requirements for data storage play only a secondary role.
The goal of the planned investments is not only to expand existing storage capacity, but also to increase the performance of corporate systems. According to the IT professionals surveyed the most important issue is an improved disaster recovery management capability. This brings a long neglected subject to the fore. Well thought-out plans for restoring an IT infrastructure following a crash are just as important as regular backups.
While some 85 per cent of the storage budgets in the companies surveyed are flowing into hardware infrastructure, especially hard drives and tape drives, the storage network trend continues. In the past five years the number of companies that do not yet have a storage area network (SAN) dropped from more than 75 to some 30 per cent. More than a third of those surveyed even operate two or more SANs in order to have the advantages of consolidated backups along with the ability to use central administration and expansion of storage resources. According to their responses, nearly a third of the companies that have already installed storage networks are also profiting from greater system stability.