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Spending on Storage & Servers

Will spending on storage top spending on servers in the near future? Is storage grabbing a bigger share of your IT budget, while servers command a smaller share? Those questions were raised recently when I was reading a blog post by Jonathan Schwartz, the chief executive and president of Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: JAVA). He was explaining the company's recent reorganization of its software operations into three groups: a Systems group, an Applications group, and a Cloud group.

Schwartz was busy talking about major changes in technology, a big customer win by Sun, and a variety of other topics (not layoffs or cutbacks), when he wrote the following:

"Second, this move amplifies the obvious (at least to us): the storage market will be larger than the server market"

Obvious? Not yet. There are some reasons to believe that Schwartz may be right. But it is hard to know for sure.

First, it is difficult to get good figures on the size of either market since most of the available numbers are those reported by the major vendors and collected by research firms, or extrapolated from survey samples. Those numbers are always hard to believe, although they can be good when watching trends. At the extremes, I've seen numbers that suggest the annual worldwide storage market is worth around hundreds of billions of dollars and the annual worldwide server market is a fraction of that. And I don't believe either number.

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