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Managed Storage Moves On

Managed storage: the next big thing or big vendor hype?

Are managed storage services making a comeback? Certainly, managed service providers such as Savvis and AT&T are cranking up their offerings in this space, citing customers' need to harness spiraling volumes of data.

Savvis today revealed plans to overhaul its own internal IP network, partly to bolster its managed storage story. (See Cisco, Savvis Launch Network.) The managed service specialist has teamed up with Cisco to roll out a slew of 10-Gbit/s edge networking gear, which execs claim will boost bandwidth and speed up data access for hosted storage.

The service provider's move follows a slew of announcements and acquisitions from other vendors earlier this year, all tied to managed storage services. (See Managed Services Resurge, Storage Shopping Spree, XOsoft, AmeriVault Team, AmeriVault Adds Recovery, and SunGard, Recall Team Up.)

At least one analyst, though, told Byte & Switch that users should not get too carried away with this, adding that there is still plenty of hype around the whole issue of managed storage. "I would not go so far as to say that there is more demand for managed storage than any other kind of managed service," says Melanie Posey, a research director at analyst firm IDC.

The last few years have nonetheless seen a change in users' attitudes toward managed storage, according to the analyst. "Back in the dotcom day, people thought that it would be a standalone business, where you took your business offsite for things like backup," she explains. "But in practice, you would buy managed storage as part of managed hosting or some other part of managed IT services."

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