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Regulatory Compliance Emerges As Important Driver Of Enterprise Storage Strategies: StorageTek Survey

  • 11 May, 2004 18:23

<p>~ Disaster Recovery Still Top of Mind, with Information Lifecycle Management Strategies Advancing Rapidly Along the Enterprise Adoption Curve ~</p>
<p>SYDNEY Australia, May 10, 2004 -- An overwhelming majority (83.5%) of large and medium-sized Australian organisations say that regulatory compliance is an important driver of data storage requirements and strategies, according to a new survey conducted by StorageTek® (Storage Technology Corp., NYSE:STK), the data storage solutions expert.</p>
<p>Two and half years since the September 11 tragedy, a majority (53.9%) of 82 large and medium-sized Australian organisations surveyed in April are still seeking to improve their disaster recovery capabilities. When it comes to controlling storage costs -- and top new storage initiatives planned -- information lifecycle management (ILM) strategies now rank second only to storage consolidation initiatives.</p>
<p>ILM adoption has advanced rapidly in the last 12 months, with more than three-quarters (76.0%) of organisations saying they had implemented, planned to implement or were investigating options for ILM strategies which move data through a storage hierarchy to match its changing value throughout its lifecycle.</p>
Disaster recovery and the need to improve DR capabilities is still top of mind among large and medium-sized Australian organisations. When asked which storage improvements were most important to them (marking up to three from a list of ten), a majority (53.9%) of respondents saw room for improvement in their disaster recovery capability. In a survey two years ago, disaster recovery also ranked first, nominated by over three-quarters (75.3%) of organisations.</p>
<p>"Disaster recovery concerns peaked in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, with many organisations seeking to improve their DR capabilities," said Philip Belcher, Managing Director for StorageTek Australia / New Zealand. "We are seeing a natural drop off in the number of organisations indicating a need for further improvements, but disaster recovery has now become a permanent feature of the storage landscape."</p>
<p>Around a third of organisations also indicated a need for improved data availability (35.7%) and storage on demand (33.1%). This represents a marked change from two years ago when these were ranked fourth and sixth most important. Reduced or eliminated backup windows were important at around a third (32.5%) of organisations, ranking fourth, representing a reduced level of importance compared with two years ago when it was ranked second.</p>
<p>In descending order, the complete list of important storage improvements was:</p>
<p>Better disaster recovery capability 53.9%
Improved data availability 35.7%
Storage on demand 33.1%
Reduced/eliminated backup windows 32.5%
More sophisticated management tools 27.3%
More terabytes managed per administrator 24.7%
Automated backup 24.7%
Increased disk utilisation 22.1%
Storage device sharing/pooling 20.8%
Less floorspace/environmental cost 9.1%</p>
When asked what methods organisations used to control storage costs, storage consolidation was still top of the pops, although information lifecycle management (ILM) had risen rapidly up through the ranks to second position.</p>
<p>More than six in ten (63.0%) organisations said they were 'consolidating storage', a slight decline from 12 months ago when the figure was seven in ten (69.2%) organisations. 'Information lifecycle management techniques' were the next most popular cost-saving method, chosen by around one third (33.1%) of organisations, a giant leap since last year, when ILM was ranked sixth.</p>
<p>In the last year 'Educating end users on storage conservation' has declined markedly as a method to control storage costs. A year ago this was chosen by two in five (40.0%) organisations, while this year the figure was just over a sixth (17.5%). Aggressively deleting older data has also declined in popularity (16.9%, down from 23.3%).</p>
<p>"Organisations are beginning to understand ILM and the value it can bring to their organisations with automated cost effective storage management," said Mr Belcher. "A year ago organisations were opting for less rigorous techniques such as educating end users and aggressively deleting data. Organisations are waking up to the risk of important business information disappearing in the rush to clear storage space. It's an unnecessary risk, smarter storage solutions are available today."</p>
<p>In descending order of popularity, the list of methods used to control storage costs was:</p>
<p>Consolidating storage 63.0%
Information lifecycle management techniques 33.1%
Buying at the lowest price 30.5%
Keeping older equipment longer 29.2%
Evaluating ROI and prioritising (so some projects get dropped) 22.7%
Educating end users on storage conservation 17.5%
Aggressively deleting older data 16.9%</p>
When asked about the single top storage initiative planned for the next twelve months, responses closely mirrored the methods organisations used to control storage costs. Storage consolidation or SAN implementation projects were the most common top storage initiatives, chosen by around a quarter (24.1%) organisations. Information lifecycle management projects, including tiered storage or hierarchical storage management initiatives, ranked number two, and were rated the top new storage initiative by nearly one in five (18.5%) organisations.</p>
<p>The complete list of top storage initiatives planned in the next twelve months was:</p>
<p>Consolidation/SAN implementation 24.1%
Tiered storage/ILM/HSM 18.4%
Improving backup and recovery 13.0%
Better management 9.3%
Archive 7.4%
Infrastructure to meet growth 7.4%
Storage strategy development 7.4%
Cost control 7.4%
Improving performance 5.6%</p>
When StorageTek asked about the takeup of information lifecycle management strategies, it found that organisations had advanced rapidly along the adoption curve in the last twelve months.</p>
<p>More than three-quarters (76.0%, up from 57.7% a year ago) large and medium-sized Australian organisations have either 'already implemented' (17.1%, up from 8.3%), 'planning to implement' (16.3%, up from 2.5%) or are 'investigating options' (42.6%, down from 46.9%) for ILM strategies which move data through a storage hierarchy to match the changing value of information throughout its lifecycle. Only three (2.3%, up from 1.2%) organisations surveyed had 'considered and decided against' ILM strategies. Around one in five (21.7%, down from 41.1%) were 'not familiar with ILM strategies'.</p>
<p>"Awareness and adoption of ILM strategies is advancing rapidly," said Mr Belcher. "Early adopters have moved to the next step -- implemented ILM techniques or actively planning their ILM strategies rather than just investigating options and the number of organisations not familiar with the concept has halved since last year."</p>
Regulatory compliance is also emerging as an important driver of storage requirements and strategies, requiring organisations to keep more data and keep it readily accessible for longer periods of time. StorageTek asked a new question in its latest survey to see if this was just an American trend or whether it was also a strong driver in Australia.</p>
<p>An overwhelming majority -- around five in six (83.5%) Australian organisations -- found regulatory compliance to be an important driver for their storage requirements and strategies, with more than two in five (42.5%) rating it 'very important', and around two in five (41.0%) rating it 'of moderate importance'. Only one in six (16.6%) organisations rated regulatory compliance as being of 'small importance' (14.2%) or 'not important at all' (2.2%).</p>
<p>"Organisations are clearly acting on the assumption that the same kinds of regulatory compliance requirements that have hit the US and Europe will hit here, if they haven't already done so," said Mr Belcher. "With regulatory compliance, organisations realise that they need to have proper strategies for dealing with old data. Just keeping old data is not enough, what really keeps people awake at night is the realisation that, one day, the government is going to ask them to not only demonstrate they're keeping data for the regulated timeframe, but that they can quickly locate specific documents related to specific people or transactions."</p>
The survey was completed in April this year by personnel responsible for data storage or data centres in 82 large and medium and Australian organisations registering for StorageTek's special 'StreamLine' edition of Let's Talk storage briefings and Solutions Exhibition in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Topics covered at the briefings include:</p>
<p>* Controlling storage costs and complexity;
* Managing data for competitive advantage; and
* Maximising their storage ROI.</p>
<p>At the Solutions Exhibition, StorageTek will unveil its flagship StreamLine SL8500 modular library system for the first time in Australia, and demonstrate:</p>
<p>* Data protection with disk to disk to tape solutions;
* Managing email storage and regulatory compliance; and
* Storage assessment / data profiling services.</p>
StorageTek is a $US2 billion global company that enables businesses, through its information lifecycle management strategy, to align the cost of storage with the value of information. The company's innovative storage solutions manage the complexity and growth of information, lower costs, improve efficiency and protect investments. For more information, see</p>
<p>TRADEMARKS: StorageTek and the StorageTek logo are registered trademarks of Storage Technology Corporation. Other names mentioned may be trademarks of Storage Technology Corporation or other vendors/manufacturers.</p>
Chris Bowes
Bowes Communications
+61 (0)2 9387 2332</p>

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