SANs win fans in buoyant storage market

With the storage industry set to reach $40 billion by 2005, a survey has found that 70 per cent of CIOs in the Asia-Pacific region plan to implement a SAN (storage area network) in the near future.

The survey, conducted by Brocade Communications Systems, polled 81 CIOs attending a series of breakfast meetings in Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The survey found that 61 per cent of respondents expect to fully deploy a SAN within 12 months, with almost one-third planning to complete their SANs within three months.

Phillip Sargeant, research director servers and storage, Gartner Asia Pacific, said due to the maturing of IT markets, acceptance of SANs is high, but he questions the figure of 70 per cent of CIOs planning to implement SANs soon.

However, Sargeant said available data and research supports a huge increase in the implementation of SANs over the next three years.

About half the CIOs surveyed indicated that server and storage consolidation and centralised storage management were the top reasons for implementing a SAN. Other justifications included high availability, disaster tolerance, and fast backup and restore.

Sergeant agreed with these results adding that other main reasons for implementing a SAN include more efficient storage usage, business continuity, disaster recovery and improving efficiency.

Gartner figures show the world market for SANs will grow from 16.5 per cent of total storage sales last year, to 57 per cent of storage revenue by 2005.

James LaLonde, vice president Asia Pacific of Brocade, said SANs are coming of age, with businesses of all sizes seriously considering deploying the technology as a way to substantially reduce operating costs.

Sergeant said implementing a SAN is a positive move, but warned that IT managers should be selective when it comes to vendor appointments as it is still a maturing environment. Choose wisely, he said, to lessen the risks, including incompatibility.

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