Asian SMB storage spending to rise

New study estimates small and midsize businesses will spend at least 20 percent more this year, with hardware comprising over half of total expenditure.

SINGAPORE--Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in Southeast Asia are projected to spend US$630 million on storage this year, a 22 percent increase from US$517 million in 2005, according to a new study by Access Markets International (AMI) Partners.

To meet their increasing data needs, SMBs across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam will spend more than half of that amount on storage hardware alone, said AMI-Partners, which surveyed more than 2,400 SMBs across those countries. AMI categorizes SMBs as those with less than 1,000 employees.

The study also revealed that data storage spending is set to grow more than 20 percent in the three categories of storage--hardware, software and services.

Although direct-attached storage spending contributed to more than half of the storage hardware spending in 2005, Nishant Dave, consulting manager at AMI Singapore, noted that demand for NAS (network-attached storage) and SAN (storage area network)-based solutions in the SMB segment is expected to grow at a double-digit pace this year.

"That's because these enterprises are now looking at sophisticated storage solutions for their ever-increasing data requirements," he said.

The study also showed that medium-sized businesses--classified as those with between 100 and 999 employees--will lead the adoption of SAN and NAS.

According to AMI, NAS installations among midsize businesses are still more prevalent in the Southeast Asia region. The number of businesses with NAS is double that of SANs.

Dave estimates, however, that as more medium-sized companies deploy fiber channel SAN-based solutions, the ratio of NAS to fiber channel SAN installations will drop to 1.9:1 in 2006.

He also said that Indonesia and Thailand alone accounted for more than half of the storage spending in 2005, and will remain the primary drivers of storage-related investments among SMBs in the Southeast Asia region.