Purchasing strategy of UK storage managers

Learn what information technology products storage managers in the UK intend to purchase for their data centres. SAN, NAS, preferred disk vendors and compliance data is included.

By Antony Adshead, UK bureau chief, storage surveyed 435 data storage managers about their information technology purchasing intentions. We asked these storage professionals 80 questions about their data centre spending on storage-area networks (SAN), network-attached storage (NAS), iSCSI, tape, backup, green storage, virtualisation, fabric switching, disaster recovery (DR) and security.

Here are some highlights from our survey on the purchasing strategy of UK storage managers.

UK vs. US: UK users' systems are smaller than their US counterparts, there's less Fibre Channel SAN and they choose different storage vendors. For more on differences between the two countries, go to Comparing UK and US storage managers' buying behaviour.

Purchasing intentions graphs and tables: For a quick overview of the purchasing intentions of UK storage managers, go to UK data centre purchasing intentions by technology.

Disk: UK businesses added an average of 27 TB of disk capacity to their data centres in 2008. The largest portion of disk spending was on new drives for existing subsystems. Most UK storage is on low- and midrange systems and leans heavily on NAS. Direct-attached storage is commonplace. Click here to read more about spending on disk storage.

Favoured disk vendors and reasons for purchase: Hewlett-Packard (HP) is the most popular disk system vendor, followed by Dell and IBM. The most common reason for selecting a storage vendor is that it already supplies technology to the business. Price is the second most important driver in vendor selection. Click here to read more about favoured disk vendors and reasons for purchase.

Green storage, virtualisation and iSCSI: Energy efficiency of hardware is a consideration for most storage managers. Server virtualisation has driven the use of shared storage, with Fibre Channel and iSCSI SANs predominating. iSCSI is the SAN of choice for a minority, but one seen by those who have adopted it as providing the performance they need at a lower cost than Fibre Channel (FC). Click here to read more about spending on green storage, virtualisation and iSCSI.

Storage networking: Cisco Systems dominates the mindshare in storage switches with Brocade a far-off second. Click here to read more about spending on storage networking.

Tape: While tape use is decreasing for many users, most report using the same amount of tape or more in 2008. HP, Dell and IBM are the top three tape vendors among respondents. Loyalty to vendors who already supply technology to the company is the chief reason for selection, followed by price. Click here to read more about spending on tape.

Disk-to-disk (D2D) backup and data deduplication: D2D backup is gaining in popularity, with nearly half of the storage managers surveyed employing it somewhere in their organisation. Faster backups and restores, as well as ease of use, are the chief pull factors for disk-to-disk backup. Data deduplication is used by a tiny number of UK users to date, but a substantial number of respondents expect to invest in the technology in the coming year. Click here to read more about spending on disk-to-disk (D2D) backup and data deduplication.

Backup: Symantec is the backup vendor of choice among storage managers, with IBM/Tivoli and EMC trailing. Backup product features are the key driver in vendor selection. Click here to read more about spending on backup.

Disaster recovery: Spending on disaster recovery remains steady, with most users directing budget toward offsite tape or disk. Click here to read more about spending on disaster recovery.

Archiving, compliance and security: Most respondents expect stable or increased levels of spending on compliance archiving, with tape as the most common technology of choice followed by disk. A third of survey respondents expect to spend nothing on compliance archiving. Most storage shops spend nothing on storage security. Click here to read more about spending on archiving, compliance and security.

Storage management software: Most users expect their spending on data storage management software to increase or stay the same. The key reason for investing in storage management software is to manage more storage with the same amount of staff. Click here to read more about spending on storage management software.

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