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Spending More on Storage

Recession? What recession? There is no recession when it comes to spending on storage at large companies. In a survey last month of 400 IT managers at companies with 1,000 or more employees, 62 percent said they expected to spend more on storage hardware, software, and services this year than they did last year. They also predicted that their storage volumes will continue to grow by around 40 percent a year.

Those surveyed predicted that their storage budgets will increase between 15 percent and 20 percent this year, and 20 percent to 24 percent over the next two years.

The survey was sponsored by Symantec, which is using the slogan "Stop buying storage" to promote its storage management and optimization software as a way to reclaim unused storage capacity and reduce or eliminate (for a while) the need to buy more disks. But that message isn't taking hold, if the survey results are to be believed. The survey was conducted by Applied Research in March.

About one third (37 percent) of the survey respondents said they were a vice president or a senior vice president in the IT department, while another 30 percent described themselves as director-level and 28 percent said they were managers. Only 6 percent said they were IT staff, which may help to explain some of the puzzling answers the survey produced. The industries represented by the largest number of respondents were manufacturing, with 23 percent; technology, with 13 percent; retail, with 12 percent; and financial services and banking with 8 percent.

Some 48 percent said they had a "good" current understanding of their storage utilization, and another 36 percent said their understanding was "excellent." Yet, the figures they gave for utilization rates for primary storage don't match up with most industry research. More than one in five (21 percent) said their primary storage utilization rate was between 80 percent and 89 percent, and another 19 percent said it was between 70 percent and 79 percent. And 18 percent said it was between 60 percent and 69 percent. Only 22 percent said their primary storage utilization rate was under 50 percent.

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