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5/5/2011
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Cloud Storage Spurned By Fortune 1000

Concerns about costs, speed of data retrieval led 87% of enterprises surveyed by TheInfoPro to dismiss the technology for archive and backup.

Slideshow: Apotheker Takes The Stage, Paints An HP Cloud Vision
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Apotheker Takes The Stage, Paints An HP Cloud Vision
When it comes to cloud-based storage offerings, most enterprise-class companies are not interested, even for the lowest tier of data for archiving purposes, according to a survey of 247 Fortune 1000 corporations.

The survey, by 451 Group division TheInfoPro, found that 87% of those surveyed had no plans to use cloud storage as an archive or lower tier. Even small and midsize businesses weren't interested in cloud-based storage, with about the same 90% feeling apathy toward the technology, said Marco Coulter, TheInfoPro's research director of storage.

"It doesn't make sense for (the surveyed respondents) to separate their computers and storage, and have the computers internally and storage externally," Coulter said in an interview. "Even for archiving data they were concerned they couldn't retrieve their data in time."

The findings reflect the same lack of interest that has forced Iron Mountain, EMC, and Vaultscape to close their storage-as-a-service offerings over the past couple years.

"(Our) archive is tape. I don't think we'll be able to take advantage of the cloud," said an anonymous representative who participated in the survey. "The cost seems to keep going up. We priced Amazon, and the cost to send the data there and maintain it over time was less than putting up a new silo internally."

Another highlight of the study is the increasing popularity of auto-tiering, which was the fourth most popular storage initiative, behind technology refresh and expansion, consolidation, and "keeping the lights on." The surge in popularity is leading to a higher demand for solid-state drive (SSD) technology.

Storage expenditures are expected to grow in 2011 for 43% of respondents, which is nearly on par with last year's 44% who planned to increase spending on storage.

Private cloud adoption was much different than public cloud storage, with 40% saying there were no obstacles to implementation. Of the remaining respondents, the obstacles to implementing private cloud services include reliability concerns (20%), 10-GB IP core switch (10%), compliance qualification (10%), and end-user education (10%).

When it comes to the impact of sever virtualization on storage growth and complexity, 40% of respondents said it affected capacity growth, 27% said it increased troubleshooting complexity, about 17% said density caused bottlenecks, and about 5% said it reduced cost.

The survey also found that with virtualized servers, respondents prefer Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs) compared with network-attached storage (NAS). "Some have predicted that NAS is going to be huge and is growing much faster than SAN; storage professionals are telling us a different story," Coulter said.

Networked storage capacity is projected to grow by 24% in 2011, with 44% expected to spend more on capacity, and 31% anticipating stable spending, according to the survey. InformationWeek's 2011 State Of Storage Survey found that managed data is increasing by 20% per year, and there is a long tail of besieged IT staffs dealing with growth rates exceeding 50%.

When asked which vendors have the most exciting storage products or services, respondents placed HP ahead of NetApp to claim the second spot. This was the first time HP moved ahead of NetApp regarding this question since the survey was first conducted in 2002, and was primarily due to HP's acquisition of 3PAR, Coulter said. EMC has had the most interesting products, according to respondents, every year since the survey was first conducted.

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