Survey Says SANs

Network World readers, especially those with large data storage requirements, are moving toward storage-area networks in a big way, according to a recent survey conducted by Enterprise Management Associates Inc.

EMA interviewed 158 Network World readers and found that 58 had no plans to deploy SANs, but the other 100 had deployed a SAN or had SAN plans. Of the 58 with no intention of implementing a SAN, the majority said their storage needs were too small to require one.

Of the 100 readers who were implementing SANs, 29 percent already had a SAN deployed, 12 percent were in the midst of a SAN rollout, 41 percent said they expected to put in a SAN within one year, and 18 percent said they were looking at a SAN within two years.

Topping the list of SAN benefits were easy manageability of storage resources, faster data access and higher data availability. About 30 percent of respondents said they are storing 50G bytes or less on their SAN, although in the next two years, 22 percent will be storing 100G bytes to 500G bytes of data.

More than three-quarters of the survey respondents said they preferred to buy all their SAN components from a single vendor; 58 percent favored Compaq. Other vendors high on the list were Dell, Cisco and IBM.

When it comes to operating systems, 73 percent of SANs are running on Windows NT, with Windows 2000 expected to pick up ground over the next two years.

The majority of respondents (58 percent) said they would rather do it themselves than hire an outside service provider. But those who did seek outside help said they were looking for a turnkey implementation and ongoing support and service.

Gaspar is a student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and was a summer intern at Network World.

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