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That's one of the key findings in the fifth and final section of this year's SearchStorage.co.UK Purchasing Intentions survey, carried out in the second quarter of 2010 among 215 storage professionals representing businesses with an average annual revenue of £1.3 billion.
In this final section of the 2010 survey results, we look at data storage management purchasing and compare respondents' answers to previous surveys conducted in 2008 and 2009.
Most of those questioned this year intend to maintain existing levels (26%) or increase spend (30%) on storage management software. Twenty-eight percent have no plans in this area and 11% predict a decrease for 2010. Those figures do not differ much from 2008.
Of those questioned who have responsibility for purchasing data storage management software but who do not intend to spend on it this year, 61% said they have all they need. High cost is the prohibitive factor for 22% of respondents.
Storage efficiency gains are the key driver for those who invest in data storage management software; 40% buy it to use installed storage more effectively, 28% to manage more storage with the same staff and 12% will simplify the management of different storage environments.
Symantec is the most commonly purchased vendor of storage management tools (22%), followed by EMC (18%) and IBM Tivoli/Softek (16%); HP and Hitachi Data Systems level-pegged at 11%.
Despite the prevalence of products from big-name array vendors, respondents' reasons for choosing storage management products are dominated by product features and functions (31%), technical support (27%) and price (16%). Already being a supplier of hardware or software to the business is a factor for only 13% of those surveyed.
That's quite a shift from 2008 when 27% of those questioned selected already being a supplier of other software as their reason for purchasing data storage management software, and technical support was ranked in fourth place with 12%.
Storage virtualisation: A fragmented picture
When asked about storage virtualisation, 30% of survey takers had virtualised some or all of their capacity. However, the majority had either not virtualised any storage (43%) or were only likely to evaluate it in 2010 (27%).
Respondents' ideas for the type of virtualisation product they intend to purchase were quite fragmented, with 15% looking at host-based virtualisation software, 12% evaluating virtualisation appliances, 10% weighing virtualisation software to run on storage arrays, 9% assessing virtualisation software to run on a standalone server and 7% considering virtualisation on a fabric switch.