European users look to increase demands for storage

Storage continues to be a major concern for European IT managers and the indications are that spending on the technology is set to increase.

According to a survey from IDC, nearly 40 per cent of users said that their spending on storage increased in the past year, while nearly 45 per cent said that their spending was going to increase in the coming year. That compares with the seven per cent who said that their spending would decrease.

The survey, of more than 500 users in western Europe, also found that storage area network (SAN) adoption in Europe is on the rise, while the current usage of high-capacity, low-cost drives is limited.

Companies cited a range of challenges that was propelling the increase in expenditure. The main one was the need to improve data availability, probably faced by those companies that were continuing to store more and more.

Cost continues to be a factor in hindering growth of SANs. Two of the main factors in companies deciding not to implement SANs were the cost of the hardware and the cost of the implementation. The main reason, however, was the lack of a perceived business benefit for installing a SAN, an indication that despite the growth in demand for storage, users are still be cautious about where they spend money.

Interestingly, the need to meet with increased compliance regulations wasn’t perceived as a major driver.

“The results of this survey tell us that there is a high correlation between the types of applications driving storage spending over the next 12 months and the types of applications end users feel are best suited for use with arrays containing high-capacity, low-cost drives. This correlation, in addition to a lack of decrease in storage spending, suggests that suppliers should expect healthy end-user acceptance of — and thus, revenue growth from — such arrays in Europe,” said Eric Sheppard, research manager for IDC’s European Disk Storage Systems service.