European SAN Uptake Grows, Says FCIA

Latest report shows Europe closing the SAN gap with the US

November 17, 2001

3 Min Read
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SAN adoption rates in Europe are nearing those of the U.S., according to a study released Friday by the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) and Macarthur Stroud International.

According to the report, 32 percent of 300 companies surveyed in May 2001 across the continent had implemented a SAN, and all others had evaluated one. This represents growth of 120 percent over the previous year, the report states.

The report authors say the new figures indicate that SANs have penetrated 17.5 percent of all small to medium-sized companies in Europe, compared to 18.5 percent in the U.S.

The results were presented at a Webcast held by the FCIA Friday. Peter Coleman, president of the FCIA and director of sales for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Gadzoox Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: ZOOX), and Paul Talbut, chairman of the FCIA and managing director of U.K. firm Hardware Planning Services (HPS), a Fibre Channel integration company, hosted the event.

Why aren't the figures higher? The economic climate has resulted in a slowdown of adoption in Europe,” said Talbut, “and that continues to have some impact.” He said Europe is halfway through a six-month lull in SAN adoption and he expects the market to pick up again in early 2002. “End-of-year budgets are being spent, and proactive planning is happening again.".Talbut expects business to be spurred by a trend toward increased used of disaster recovery and backup services.

Most companies surveyed for the report (69 percent) show greater than US$100 million in revenue annually. Most SANs are installed in utilities, service organizations, and banks.

Of the 96 respondents who'd implemented a SAN, 41 percent were in Germany, 36 percent in the U.K., and 19 percent in France. Sixty-six percent of SAN implementers put in a SAN to pool storage devices, 24 percent to link servers to storage, and 10 percent to connect geographically dispersed sites.

Most of the companies with SANs (54 percent) got them directly from the vendor; 24 percent got them from a systems integrator; 14 percent from a value-added reseller. A full 23 percent had installed their own SANs.

The trend toward self-installed SANs has actually dropped a few percent over the year, Talbut says. He says this is thanks to increased trust and confidence in the vendor and integrator market, which Talbut attributes to proven interoperability tests among vendors.The adoption rate for 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel is slower in Europe than in the U.S., as most companies are not utilizing all their 1- Gbit/s bandwidth, Talbut said. He added that the cost benefits of 2-Gbit/s FC and its backward-compatibility with 1-Gbit/s installations should drive adoption.

Storage management, storage consolidation, high availability, and backup and recovery were the primary drivers of SAN implementations, according to the study. And the key applications running over these SANs are data warehousing, enterprise resource planning, and financial processing systems.

Not surprisingly, the Webcasters didn’t give much time to the adoption of iSCSI (SCSI over IP), the generally accepted alternative to FC, although they acknowledged that it will increase the demand for storage networks.

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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