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Storage Sales Soar, But Many Vendors Under Pressure: Page 2 of 2

On the positive side, Coulter thinks Dell's Compellent acquisition was a good fit because Compellent's sales were starting to tail off and it needed a better path to the market, something Dell offers. Oracle also showed some positive signs with its Exadata appliance, although it was being sold to database people, not the storage side.

From a technology perspective, TIP says automated tiering is creating a reason to refresh array technology, which benefits solid-state disk (SSD). SAN is beating NAS for server virtualization capacity, but virtual server protection choices threaten traditional backup software solutions.

Coulter says half of the respondents are using replication at storage level, rather than traditional methods used for physical servers: "Is this the beginning of the end to backup? Backup has traditionally been the too-hard-to-replace technology, but it may be through server virtualization and snapshot replication."

Finally, cloud storage didn't fare well in the study. Coulter says less than one in 10 organizations have plans to use external cloud storage--even for lower tiers, including archive.

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