CIOs Fail to Embrace Storage Strategies: IDC

AUCKLAND (01/25/2000) - Very few CIOs surveyed by International Data Corp.(IDC) recently had coherent storage strategies, says IDC researcher Pat Pilcher.

"One CIO was so constrained for people that he couldn't employ someone overnight to do backups so was having to do incremental backups," he says.

The IDC storage survey, conducted last November and December, confirmed that the enterprise has become increasingly data-centric rather than server-centric.

"But there is a reluctance at CIO level to quickly embrace new storage technologies such as storage area networks (SANs)," Pilcher says. "They want to stick with the tried and tested technologies. There is no clear brand leader for the new storage technologies and mindshare is up for grabs."

Most of the organizations surveyed used multiple NT servers in addition to a single large enterprise server, most often running Unix or AS/400.

"A number of respondents commented that NT only effectively handled one major application per server, resulting in blossoming NT server numbers," Pilcher says. "This represents an opportunity for server and storage vendors who can implement systems or strategies to help clients rationalize NT server numbers."

The main storage option used was internal RAID 5 arrays. Larger systems, Unix or AS/400, which tended to be older legacy systems, used RAID 1 or mirroring.

Key factors influencing product and vendor selection were relationships and the server/storage bundle. Respondents were willing to pay more for some items in return for one-stop shopping and a single point of contact for sales and after-sales support.

Centralized storage was used by 78 percent of respondents and distributed by 22 percent. The centralized dominance was largely because of organic growth, though IDC believes distributed storage may be acting as an inhibitor to business performance because there are increased efficiencies in centralized storage.

Most of the respondents indicated they purchased disk storage to add capacity, or on a just-in-time basis. A much smaller number bought to a strategy or schedule.

Pilcher says storage demands are increasing dramatically, largely because of the Internet and intranets.

Files are being copied to multiple recipients rather than one copy being held; applications are increasingly media-rich; and junk e-mail attachments place additional demands on storage.

A total of 16.5 percent of respondents didn't have a disaster recovery plan or business continuity strategy.

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