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Storage in Crisis?

Ever notice how everything is a crisis lately or, even better, a meltdown? It seems as if every article I read on storage, virtualization or just about anything else in IT starts with "given the economic crisis, downturn, or disaster." I include myself among the guilty, by the way. Do you ever get the feeling we have made the situation worse? That we have talked (or written) ourselves into a deeper hole than there actually was?

I am not minimizing the negative effect of the mortgage fiasco of last summer, nor am I saying that if you, unfortunately, are among the unemployed that this is not a serious situation for you. But to compare this situation to the Great Depression or the misery index of 1979 or even the IT bubble burst of 2001 is a bit dramatic and, for the most part, overstated, especially from an IT perspective.

This is backed up by the recent Symantec "2008 State of the Data Center Survey," where 84 percent of budgets were set to increase or stay the same over the next 12 months. In fairness, the survey was taken right at the beginning of the "crisis," but, according to Symantec, they re-sampled again a few months into it and have compared notes with other researchers, and they stand by their numbers.

Think about that -- 84 percent! Interestingly, what the spending focus of these budgets tends to be on is optimization of what is already in the data center and controlling costs. This means further optimization of the server virtualization, and better storage utilization through archive and data compression or deduplication.

It is not just further optimization and efficiency that is on the minds of these CIOs. Disaster recovery, always popular when people are worried about the economy, is still capturing their attention. One in three stated that their plan was inadequate, citing remote offices and virtual servers as key issues.

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