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Storage Pressures Rise Due to Growing Data Volumes and Inadequate Use of Management Tools

Australian organisations are experiencing rising cost and management pressures stemming from exploding data volumes and poorly controlled investment in storage infrastructure, according to research released today by Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC).
  • 04 August, 2009 10:42

<p>Symantec research reveals Australian organisations spending more on storage but struggling to cope with exploding data volumes</p>
<p>SYDNEY, Australia – 4 August 2009 – Australian organisations are experiencing rising cost and management pressures stemming from exploding data volumes and poorly controlled investment in storage infrastructure, according to research released today by Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC).</p>
<p>The Symantec sponsored survey conducted in June 2009 found that less than half of the 251 respondents used tools that could help extract the maximum utilisation from storage hardware despite almost all conceding their performance in the area left room for improvement. The top ten storage utilisation goals proved difficult to achieve for more than one-third of respondents in each case. After archiving, short-term solutions such as deleting data or purchasing more storage dominated reactions to running out of capacity.</p>
<p>“This research clearly identifies the risks and challenges confronting Australian organisations in implementing and managing storage,” said Craig Scroggie, vice president and managing director, Symantec Australia and New Zealand.</p>
<p>“The pressure is growing on IT teams to reduce costs whilst managing increasingly complex data centre operations due to consolidation, virtualisation and exploding data volumes. These changes have enabled IT teams to refocus their efforts on getting the best from and extending the life of existing storage resources.”</p>
<p>Storage budgets set to rise</p>
<p>The survey revealed that respondents generally expect storage budgets – including hardware, software and services – to remain stable or rise over the next two years. While less than one-third expected a rise within six months, over half (52 percent) expected an increase in two years’ time. Compared to 2008, almost three-quarters (72 percent) expected to purchase more or the same amount of storage in 2009, while only 19 percent expected to purchase less.</p>
<p>Rising data volumes consume staff resources</p>
<p>With IT organisations under unprecedented pressure to cut costs while ensuring increasingly complex data centres continue to support business needs, exploding data volumes present a real threat. The survey reveals that organisations are experiencing an average annual growth in information, measured in terabytes, of 34 percent, with more than one-quarter seeing growth of 41–100 percent. IT team members are spending an average 17 hours per week on storage-related tasks, with 13 percent of organisations reporting staff spending upwards of 40 hours. The average increase in storage volumes experienced by respondents was 25 percent.</p>
<p>Storage goals tough to achieve</p>
<p>Many respondents found it difficult to meet storage utilisation goals. For example, 39 percent rated ‘finding adequate storage in time for new application deployment’ occasionally difficult to very difficult, while 57 percent ranked ‘dealing with legal or corporate governance issues’ occasionally difficult to very difficult. Comparatively, similar research conducted this year on behalf of Symantec in the United States, revealed that businesses were less likely to find it difficult to achieve their storage utilisation goals, with about one-third (between 33 percent and 36 percent) finding meeting their goals occasionally difficult to very difficult.</p>
<p>Managing storage a challenge</p>
<p>The survey highlights that utilising existing storage resources and managing rapidly growing storage volumes continue to challenge most organisations. Over two-fifths (42 percent) reacted first to storage resources reaching high capacity levels simply by buying more storage or deleting data – illustrating the need for more refined data and information management strategies. Nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of respondents did not know what their approximate storage spend was in 2008, while about one-quarter (23 percent) rated their understanding of their current storage utilisation as ‘average’ or below.</p>
<p>While respondents spent more than AU$475,000 on average on storage in 2008, almost all (93 percent) conceded their utilisation was less than optimal. On average, respondents used 58 percent of their primary storage and 55 percent of their secondary storage capacity. About one-quarter rated their storage waste as either ‘a disaster’ or said they ‘struggled to utilise the storage they had’. Australian respondents lagged behind their counterparts in the US, where about one-fifth (21 percent) described their storage capacity as ‘perfectly allocated.’</p>
<p>The survey highlighted the fact that organisations are focusing on getting the most from their existing storage resources. More than two-thirds (68 percent) were likely to allocate extra budget to software to achieve savings in storage hardware purchases over the next one to two years.</p>
<p>Adoption of storage resource management tools</p>
<p>Less than half of the survey respondents (43 percent) use storage resource management (SRM) tools to help mitigate risks posed by rapid data growth. SRM tools enable organisations to identify data that can be moved to less expensive storage and to predict capacity requirements. An alarmingly high percentage of respondents used manual tools (30 percent) or estimates (27 percent) to track storage utilisation, while one in 10 relied on guesswork based on industry averages.</p>
<p>Asked whether their infrastructure could survive if they stopped buying storage for 24 months, less than one-fifth (18 percent) of respondents said they could ‘quit buying storage today’. Fifteen percent described themselves as ‘addicted to storage hardware’ and the same percentage conceded they would need to understand how to become more efficient with existing storage. Nearly half responded ‘maybe’. However, with the right tools, eight out of 10 businesses could stop buying storage for six months to three years or more, achieving considerable savings in procurement and management.</p>
<p>Email targeted</p>
<p>As information volumes grow, organisations are working to reduce the impact of email. While per-unit storage costs are falling, emails can be stored multiple times, including on an email server, on a personal computer, in a proprietary email system file, on file servers and in backups. More than half (53 percent) of survey respondents recorded a moderate to significant improvement by using email archiving, while two-fifths (41 percent) achieved similar results through single instancing of mail and backup.</p>
<p>Meanwhile, many respondents have reaped the rewards of using thin provisioning to improve capacity utilisation by allowing applications to share dynamically allocated storage. Over one-third (37 percent) of respondents reported that thin provisioning delivered moderate to significant improvements over their previous storage environment. The use of data deduplication tools to eliminate the retention of multiple instances of the same data had delivered either moderate or significant improvements for 45 percent of respondents. However, only four percent applied data deduplication technologies as their first response when storage resources reached high levels of utilisation, significantly below the 12 percent of US respondents.</p>
<p>As demonstrated by this research, many organisations are struggling to meet their storage targets and cope with the growth in data volumes. By using the right tools, organisations can achieve a full understanding of their storage environment, including deficiencies, underutilised capacity and projected growth in data volumes. With data centre managers under pressure to cut costs while managing increased complexity, introducing appropriate storage resource management tools is essential.</p>
<p>Based on these results, Symantec suggests that by using storage resource management software, organisations can identify how best to use data deduplication, thin provisioning and archiving technologies. These can optimise use of existing resources, reduce the data backup and storage task and ensure information is allocated to the correct tier of storage. More information is available from the Symantec stop buying storage website, To listen to the Stop Buying Storage Podcast with Craig Scroggie go to</p>
<p>About the 2009 Symantec Storage Research Report</p>
<p>In its first year, the survey is a study commissioned by Symantec to highlight storage utilisation trends at Australian organisations. Conducted by independent market research firm Bread &amp; Butter Research and Strategy during June 2009, the study polled 251 IT managers and team members in organisations (government and enterprise) with at least 200 staff in Australia.</p>
<p>About Symantec</p>
<p>Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organisations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at</p>
<p>NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, please visit the Symantec News Room at All prices noted are in U.S. dollars and are valid only in the United States.
Symantec and the Symantec Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.</p>
<p>Any forward-looking indication of plans for products is preliminary and all future release dates are tentative and are subject to change. Any future release of the product or planned modifications to product capability, functionality or feature are subject to ongoing evaluation by Symantec, and may or may not be implemented and should not be considered firm commitments by Symantec and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions.</p>
<p>Media Contacts:</p>
<p>Almira Anthony</p>
<p>Max Australia</p>
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<p>Debbie Sassine</p>
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