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ILM Divides SMBs

5:50 PM -- A recent survey finds that when asked about ILM, half of SMBs say "WTH?" (What the heck?)

Storage consultants Peripheral Concepts released preliminary results of a survey of SMBs' implementation plans for ILM. (See SMBs Want ILM, Classification.) Of more than 4,000 IT managers surveyed, half of them either never heard of it or had no opinion. The other half apparently have spoken to storage vendors.

The revelation that a good number of SMBs aren't in tune with ILM is hardly surprising. Many SMBs aren't even sure if they need networked storage yet, let alone ILM. What was more surprising was most of those who have heard of it either implemented some level of ILM (45 percent) or planned to in the next year (13 percent).

It's possible some of the respondents had been doing ILM but didn't know it until seeing the survey questions, or perhaps some who said they were doing ILM were really doing just one piece. When asked which step they had implemented among data classification, relating business rules to data classes, determining service levels, determining security levels, establishing tiers, choosing appropriate storage hardware, and choosing appropriate storage software, less than 20 percent said they had full implementation. Security was the step most often implemented and storage software the least.

So whatever the survey tells us about SMBs and ILM, it probably tells us more about SMB priorities. Securing data and hardware is paramount, while installing additional software applications can wait.

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