The growth in storage area networks is set to double this year despite the technology downturn, but disk technology may not be able to keep up, according to Gartner.
Josh Krischer, a research director at the analyst, warned that this would have a major effect on how much data the enterprise could manage.
"The growth in storage is between 60 and 100 per cent this year, but disk technology development is not fast enough to answer the requirements for capacity and performance," he said.
Krischer added that consolidation would drive this growth, and that iSCSI would play a major role. iSCSI is being touted as an alternative to Fibre Channel in storage as it is said to be cheaper to install and run.
However, critics of the technology point out that it is not suited to moving the large blocks of data that Fibre Channel was designed to cope with.
"iSCSI gives IT managers the opportunity to consolidate storage. It is not as fast as Fibre Channel, but it is cheaper to implement," said Krischer.
Price cuts for storage will level off at a 35 per cent annual fall, according to Gartner. But for the most part the cost of managing storage will be far higher than the cost of equipment.
"The majority of costs in storage are labour costs as well as planned and unplanned downtime," said Krischer.
The analyst said its research found that the UK accounts for five per cent of the $3bn global market for storage, making it the second biggest market in Europe behind Germany.
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