New wrinkles in storage

Finally, corporate chieftains are beginning to understand that business runs on information. Information properly exploited can yield competitive advantage. Information properly stored can be retrieved when needed for business, legal, regulatory compliance or disaster recovery purposes. And information properly protected will keep the company's name from joining the news media's growing list of privacy and security breaches.

That's why data storage -- once the unsexiest of topics -- has jumped into the top tier of IT issues in the past year. Hurricanes, lawsuits, regulations and a rash of lost magnetic tapes will do that. One sign of the growing stature of the storage function is that it's now an IT career specialty with premium pay (like security); it's no longer just an add-on chore for mainframe system administrators. Today, storage administrators earn an average salary of US$80,500 to $95,000 if they have lots of experience. SAN specialists are also in particularly high demand.

With that new status comes more responsibility. This special report is intended to keep IT directors up to date on the latest developments in encryption, backup and provisioning. Now that another hurricane season, and possibly more privacy legislation, is just around the corner, there's little margin for error.

Information storage is becoming a surprisingly high-profile business function and might even be discussed at the CEO or board level. That development has several upsides and downsides. Soon CEOs will be asking how securely their business information is stored, and you'll want to have a good answer.

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