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Issue of August 2003 
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More networked storage this year

Indian companies will keep deploying networked storage environments this year, and the move will be spurred by a number of factors, feels Mathew Boon, Vice President, Hardware and Systems, Asia/Pacific, of Gartner.

This is also substantiated by the results of a survey conducted jointly by Network Magazine and IMRB among 301 CIOs/CTOs/IT Heads in India. The survey reports that 65 percent of BFSI companies will invest in networked storage this year compared to 61 percent last year. And 44 percent of Telecom & IT companies will invest in networked storage this year compared to only 28 percent last year.

Boon feels that factors like increase in exchange of e-mail, and use of databases in enterprises will be the significant growth drivers. "Applications like these tend to put pressure on the backend architecture and CIOs begin to look for reliable ways to store and backup data," said Boon.

Gartner predicts…
  • More Indian companies will deploy networked storage this year.
  • Increase in exchange of e-mail, and use of databases in enterprises will be significant growth drivers.
  • As organizations consolidate their storage architecture, iSCSI will clearly be the more popular technology.
  • Technology like virtualization is more of a reality, so we'll see heterogeneous environments managed more easily.
  • Improvements in tape technology like LTO and SDLT are meeting the volumes of storage required to be backed-up.

— Mathew Boon, Vice President, Hardware and Systems, Asia/Pacific, of Gartner.

The need for networked storage environments in the Indian BFSI and Telecom verticals will be driven by customer-focussed (B2C) activities. These companies will increasingly need to make their products and services readily available online. Although the year has been tough for telcos, the need for innovation will drive the use of networked storage.

"As organizations consolidate their storage architecture, iSCSI will clearly be the emerging popular technology," said Boon. He felt that there will be place for NAS and SAN in different business environments, but in the end all that
matters is that the data is easily available, that it can be backed up and archived, and is secure," explains Boon.

Organizations that deployed SANs three years ago did not get the benefits that were promised. Boon cites a number of reasons for this. The storage technologies, hardware, and software were still immature. However, these have come a long way now. Hardware, software, and storage architectures are more mature now, and it's easy to optimize. "Technology like virtualization is more of a reality, and we'll see heterogeneous environments managed more easily," said Boon.

The CIO should analyze the business needs and match storage requirements. "CIOs may have paid too much attention to vendors three years ago and are stuck with volumes of ill-managed storage just sitting there," said Boon.

Although enterprises in India and APAC are laying emphasis on backup and enhanced security of data, many organizations seem to be only paying lip-service to it. And this is mostly due to the cost issues. Boon feels that such behavior should be avoided.

Improvements in tape technology like LTO and SDLT are meeting the volumes of storage required to be backed-up. And there are good software tools available that intertwine backup closely with storage management.

Soutiman Das Gupta

 
     
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