Gartner Predicts Most Future External Storage Will Be Networked

Gartner, Inc. announced at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2001 that it expects 80 percent of external storage will be networked by 2005. Symposium/ITxpo 2001 is taking place this week in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

According to Gartner analysts, most enterprises expect their storage capacity to double every year, while many Internet data centers report a doubling in capacity every quarter or sooner.

“Most of our clients report that they can afford to buy storage, but they can’t manage it,” said Nick Allen, vice president and research director for Gartner. “The main reason for this shortfall is that storage management tools have not yielded sufficient productivity gains to cope with such high growth rates. Gartner’s view is that none of the large, established storage management vendors will be able to provide such gains.”

Gartner therefore expects businesses to adopt strategies that entail new storage architectures and new vendors. According to Gartner, winning strategies and vendors will be those that help the user scale storage tenfold without the need to add staff.

“Enterprises should demand that vendors provide a cost-saving estimate for their SAN or NAS offerings that includes both acquisition costs and total cost of ownership,” Allen said.

Gartner maintains that storage networks must consist of two tiers. The first tier, the storage plumbing tier, provides connectivity between nodes in a network and transports device-oriented commands and status to at least one storage node. The second, or software tier, provides value-added services that operate over the first tier.

According to Gartner, to qualify as a storage network, a configuration must provide separate value via software that operates across connected nodes.

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