SANs winning the storage solution race

We analyzed the last 6 months of our IT Priorities data to see what's happening in the world of hardware projects and plans. We noticed that while server and storage 12-month plans were most divergent in December 2004, 51% vs.

ITPWe analyzed the last 6 months of our IT Priorities data to see what's happening in the world of hardware projects and plans. We noticed that while server and storage 12-month plans were most divergent in December 2004, 51% vs. 16%, respectively, they've started shifting toward a happy medium this year. For May, the difference is down to 14 points, 43% of hardware plans are server-related while 29% are storage-related.

Just what server projects are on the drawing board over the coming year? Overall, there is quite an array of plans, including:

  • 33% general server upgrades
  • 16% consolidations
  • 6% thin client servers
  • 4% blades
  • 4% mainframes
  • 3% terminal services
  • 3% virtual servers
  • 2% Web and fax servers

The remaining 29% of server projects were not explicitly identified by the IT mangers participating in the study.

As for storage, Storage Area Networks (SANs) are the dominant solutions among IT managers' plans for next year, representing 39% of storage projects compared to 5% for NAS technology. Here is the breakdown:

  • 39% SANs
  • 25% storage data backup
  • 5% NAS
  • 3% increased storage capacity
  • 3% general storage upgrades
  • 1% storage consolidation

Twenty-four percent (24%) of storage projects planned 12-months from now were not specifically named.

The large disparity in SAN vs. NAS solutions prompted us to comb through our data archives. We reviewed the past 24 months of data and found that, on average, SANs are planned 7 times more frequently than NAS projects--not heavy competition, but better odds than the winning horse had heading into the 131st Kentucky Derby last Saturday (Giacomo’s odds were 50-1).  It will be interesting to see over the coming months if recent prognostications of SAN-NAS convergence really play out in our IT Priorities data. For now, SAN is the odds-on favorite.