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SAN storage systems purchases driven by capacity, performance

Anticipated year-over-year capacity growth of 24% and the need to boost the performance of existing applications is driving new SAN storage systems.

Among storage managers it's not secret: Capacity growth just won't quit and even using installed storage as efficiently as impossible can't forestall the inevitable SAN purchase. For approximately two-thirds of potential SAN storage systems buyers, capacity (66%) is the reason for a SAN shopping spree. Survey respondents reported an average of a whopping 464 TB of SAN and NAS capacity installed, but on average they were still looking to add 267 TB of new SAN capacity. If they follow through on those plans, it should be more than enough capacity to keep up with our respondents' anticipated year-over-year capacity growth of 24%.

But space is only part of the story, as half of those surveyed cited a need for speed, which they hope their new SANs will provide to boost the performance of existing applications.

Make no mistake -- storage shops are doing their best to keep up with both capacity and performance demands, using techs such as solid-state devices (43%), thin provisioning (34%), storage virtualization (33%) and dedupe/compression (32%). Still, they're looking to expand the use of those efficiency-enhancing technologies with their next arrays by adding capabilities such as automated storage tiering (43%) and cloud integration (32%).

Fibre Channel (FC) is still the preferred flavor of SAN, with 54% planning FC purchases, but 21% will take the iSCSI route by putting their SAN on an Ethernet network. The remaining 25% expect to add both FC and iSCSI storage. Whether respondents opt for FC or iSCSI, performance is clearly front of mind: 43% of FC buyers want 16 Gbps systems and 66% of iSCSI purchasers will snap up 10 Gbps arrays.

As one might expect, database apps lead the way (76%) when it comes to how new SANs will be used, with storage to support virtual servers as the next most popular choice (53%).

Technology purchases
SAN array purchase factors
SAN array capacity required
Block storage protocols

About the author:
Rich Castagna is TechTarget's VP of Editorial/Storage Media Group.

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