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Many SAN Shops Do It Themselves

Though analysts predict storage services will be a fast-growing sector in the coming years, a good portion of enterprise users apparently have no interest whatsoever in enlisting any outside help, according to Byte and Switch's August poll.

Of a total of 46 respondents, 43 percent said they have no need for any external professional storage services. Meanwhile, 21 percent said they would have an interest in using an outside services firm to help design and/or deploy SANs or NAS. Another 19 percent picked "offsite backup and recovery services"; 10 percent chose "on-site break/fix services"; and just 7 percent selected "ongoing management of storage systems and software."

The industry, for its part, is expecting services to hit a steady growth spurt. Research firm IDC predicts that the worldwide storage services market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent from 2002 to 2007 (see IDC: Storage Services on Upswing).

Companies playing in this space range from big-name systems integrators like Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) and IBM Global Services to small specialty providers like GlassHouse Technologies Inc.

In addition, historically product-oriented vendors like EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK), and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) are expecting to earn more of their revenues through professional services down the road.

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