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Wed 8 Dec 2004 04:00 AM

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Data swamp continues

Signs that the runaway growth of data being stored by organisations across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) might be coming under control according to new research published by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) in the latest edition of its Storage Index.

Signs that the runaway growth of data being stored by organisations might be coming under control are revealed in new research published according to the latest edition of the Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Storage Index.

The new research, which is conducted biannually among a sample of 840 IT directors in 21 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), suggests that technology is finally taming the data deluge that has been swamping organisations in recent years.

“What the latest Hitachi Index is showing. is that IT directors are looking for, and increasingly finding, solutions to the large amount of under-utilised storage within their networks,” says John Bentley, sales director, HDS Middle East.

However, of the 840 IT directors surveyed across 20 EMEA countries, HDS included IT managers only from three countries in the region — Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE from a total of 20 plus Middle Eastern and North African countries. This suggests that the storage vendor’s results are only indicative and not necessarily representative or accurate for the region, since the results are skewed by European data in the six-month survey.

“The results show”, adds Bentley, “that storage management technologies – which give IT directors much greater control over their storage environment – are fast approaching universal deployment. This is the most likely explanation for the fact that the number of IT directors expecting data growth over the next 12 months has moderated from 75% to 67%.”

HDS, part of the US$81.4 billion Hitachi Electronics adds that the results confirm the change is more likely to be technological than economic, with IT directors also reporting that the pressure to reduce operating costs is actually declining as a driver for their storage investment decisions.

The march towards technological solutions is highlighted in several Index findings. The Index shows that the number of IT directors who believe they have storage management technology already in place has risen from 58 to 70% in the current Index and, factoring in the future implementation plans anticipated, this number is predicted to reach 90% within 24 months.

Looking to specific aspects of storage management, the Index shows that scepticism about achieving open standards in storage – which enable equipment and software from different suppliers to interoperate freely - is waning rapidly.

The number of IT directors who are not confident about open standards being achieved within the next 24 months is down to just 23% now from a figure of 38% when the first Index was compiled. The optimists now total 47%, up from 29% in the original Index and from 39% since the last Index alone.

There has also been a sudden jump in the latest Index among the number of IT directors for whom storage virtualisation – the ability to pool any storage device from any vendor into what appears to be a single storage device managed from a central console - is the number one storage technology priority.

This figure is up from 6% of the sample, where it has been static since the Index began, to 10%, with completed virtualisation implementations up from 7% to 15% over the same period.

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