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Thin Provisioning Update

Intransa, DataCore, and MonoSphere are the latest in a parade of vendors making claims for thin provisioning, the term encompassing a range of techniques for faking out a storage system in order to avoid over-investing in disk space. While "Buyer Beware" remains the watchword, it's clear this technology is vying for "top of mind" among tech users and evaluators.

Here's a rundown:

  • Users are into TP. A survey conducted in July 2007 by SRM vendor MonoSphere revealed that of 249 storage professionals in major verticals who work for "mid-large companies," 78 percent are using, rolling out, or evaluating thin provisioning. (See MonoSphere: Thin Provisioning Risks.)

    Seventy-five percent of MonoSphere's respondents involved in thin provisioning cited increased storage hardware utilization as the main advantage they're seeking with this technology. Another 49 percent expect to see easier provisioning with less disruption than they have today; 39 percent cited easier management; and 14 percent expect to get better disk performance.

    The biggest drawback perceived by respondents? Running out of storage (71 percent); losing control of management (42 percent); and increasing the complexity of the storage environment (43 percent).

    Of those who told MonoSphere they're using thin provisioning, 14 percent are using host-side, volume-based solutions; 64 percent are using array-based products; and 22 percent use filer-based thin provisioning.

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