If there was a prize for a piece of research that throws up a blindingly obvious conclusion, that could be won by the latest research from Vanson Bourne, produced for the web hosting specialists, Hostway. One of the key nuggets is that 94 percent of IT managers "invest in more storage than they need". Well surprise, surprise. It is a common fact that IT managers buy more storage than they need. It is called over provisioning and everyone does it for two simple reason: storage is cheap and the consequences of running short of it are dire. The answer is to over provision. It is a known issue but only one that has become pressing recently as companies have started to take on board the issues around climate change and the effect of all that excess power use. And the high cost of power, of course. Storage is part of that problem since storage is based on disks, disks spin and burn power to do so. Cut the disks spinning and you cut back on power use and cut energy use. But to return to the original fact, Vanson Bourne's research actually asked IT managers the following question. "Do you ever buy more storage that you need, so that you have capacity for your future needs?" Well who isn't going to answer "yes" to that question? Even allowing for climate change and the need to cut energy use, people are always going to buy storage to ensure they "have capacity for future needs". It is called planning. But this is to be unduly harsh. There is a reason behind such an apparently obvious question. Vanson Bourne's client, Hostway, wants to push its on-demand and other storage solutions and quite right too. Storage is currently inefficient and wasteful but there are myriad solutions out there that can make it less wasteful, more cost effective, cheaper and better for the environment too and on-demand can be a key component for many. So, well-done Hostway/Vanson Bourne for asking the questions of users. I just can't help thinking there might have been better questions. Such as "do you have any intention of using thin-provisioning?" That would have been a good one.