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Storage Education Gains More Respect — Finally!

The information technology (IT) infrastructure is composed of six main components — three software and three hardware. The three software components are applications, database management systems, and operating systems. The three hardware components are servers, networks, and storage. A few years ago (and still most likely today), if you were to ask a college class of computer science majors to list the six components in the order in which they had an interest (such as the area in which they hoped to get a job), storage would probably have rated 6th on most students' lists.

This is the Rodney Dangerfield problem (i.e. "I don't get no respect." in honor of the late American comedian who became famous with that statement) that storage has unfairly faced for years. Although numerous exciting things are happening in the other five IT infrastructure components (such as server virtualization and Web development), we would argue that over the last five years storage-related innovation has outstripped them all. That innovation may not be as well-recognized as it should be, but the real challenge for storage vendors and advocates is in understanding the requirements for education and how to exploit these issues to take full advantage of recent and current storage innovation.

Understanding Storage Management Trends, Challenges, and Options

 Since 2006, EMC has published an annual study to help understand how IT and storage managers are coping with organizational challenges related to information storage. Among the challenges highlighted by the most recent study are how to deal with the explosion of data, the increased criticality of digitized information, and the rapid introduction of new storage technologies. The current study was based upon a global survey of more than 1,450 IT professionals (20% managers and 80% storage professional). The study included participants in all major geographies and major industry segments, both EMC and non-EMC storage solution users, and large, medium, and small companies.

The size of the study is both commendable and necessary to be able to derive overall results and to discern any distinguishable differences when analyzed across two or more sample slices. The sample size also had to be statistically reliable and that is possible only with an overall large survey population. EMC has made a whitepaper available that goes into the new survey's findings in some detail so we will focus on two key issues.

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