Demand for storage in western Europe is set to rise to 140 petabytes (PB) in 2003, more than double the 60PB of data generated in 2002, with management software key to dealing with the expansion, according to analysts.
This growth outpaces the global trend of around 50 per cent, putting the onus on IT directors to show that they are maximising existing resources, John McArthur, group vice president at analyst IDC, told delegates attending Storage Networking World Europe in Cannes last week.
"Foresight in design, implementation and process significantly reduces the management burden," he said.
McArthur urged IT executives planning storage area networks (Sans) to change the way they manage and migrate data with storage management software, and then analyse hardware and infrastructure requirements.
The analyst suggested that management will become more important because the current strategy of buying more disk space will no longer work.
Vendors should offer tools to automate onerous management tasks, help users use more of their existing storage capacity, and help users migrate data from one medium to another, said McArthur.
Users should adopt mixed media systems to reduce costs, keeping only the most often required data on enterprise disk.
McArthur told vendors that they must confront the certification crisis they had created, and commit to interoperability. But he warned users that this interoperability will not happen unless they "fight for it".
He predicted a rise of independent storage consultants which will often be resellers.
These consultants will take over from suppliers the role of defining San systems, helping to end inconsistent design, implementation and management.
"There are no standard models for enterprise San deployment," he concluded.
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