Enterprise storage to see explosive growth

Enterprise storage should more than treble by 2001, says EMC Australasian managing director Mike Foster.

The current $US10 billion market is expected to be worth $US35 billion by 2001, says Foster. EMC is growing in line with that figure and expects to be a $US10 billion company by 2001, he says.

However, the future market estimates may be on the conservative side. Research firm IDC reports there were 83,000 external terabytes of storage shipped in 1998. It's forecasting another massive increase to 900,000 terabytes in 2002.

IDC says there has been an explosive growth of data within corporations, both inside and outside the data centre. It notes in a white paper published last year that some storage buyers willingly pay twice as much for consolidated enterprise storage as for decentralised, server-dependent storage because of the cost of managing storage, the cost of downtime and the value of uptime.

"IDC believes that consolidated enterprise storage, properly implemented, may offer dramatic improvements in the cost of managing storage, while in many cases improving application availability, avoiding costly losses and adding business value," according to the paper.

Much of EMC's emphasis at present is on software to manage the scalability of customers data - rather than on hardware -- and on their professional services aimed at assisting their clientele get the best possible use out of their chosen storage solution, says Foster.

"We're involved in a lot of disaster recovery and helping architect technology and processes. It all comes down to the management of risk. It's no good reducing back-up times if high risk remains," he says.

Foster says EMC is spending a considerable amount of time talking to their open systems customers about architectures.

"There is a tremendous amount of mainframe disciplines that haven't made it yet to the open systems and NT communities. A survey last year of CIOs showed that the number one problem was outages."

Typically, an IT shop will spend 70 per cent of its budget in the areas of storage and management, he says.

"Locally, customers are now buying terabytes of storage. We have one customer -- an insurance company -- that bought four terabytes recently and is buying more because of a merger."

Email, Foster says, is one of the major storage growth causes.

That figure is confirmed by IDC, which says that collaborative computing applications such as email and workgroup software are the fastest growing applications within the corporation.

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