Heavy Reading

2007 Enterprise User Survey on Storage Area Networks & Storage Transport Services

Secure and efficient storage of data has long been a primary challenge for large businesses and enterprises. The need for robust and effective storage is now increasingly being felt by small- to medium-sized organizations as well, resulting in a potentially huge opportunity for suppliers of storage networking products and services, including storage area networks (SANs) and carrier-supplied storage transport service (STS).

To this point, enterprise uptake of SANs and especially STS has fallen short of full market potential, a situation that has been a cause of frustration for network operators and suppliers of storage technologies. But the need for effective and reliable storage networking clearly will increase for the foreseeable future, with the likely result that enterprise users will indeed become more receptive to carrier-delivered services aimed at solving the storage dilemma. The big questions for network operators and storage technology suppliers are when customers will reach the tipping point of interest, and what kinds of solutions they will be most receptive to.

The 2007 Enterprise User Survey on Storage Area Networks & Storage Transport Services was created to gauge enterprise user perceptions of and requirements for carrier-delivered STS, as well as to assess current enterprise deployments of SANs and SAN extension technologies.

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The report is based on results of an exclusive survey of 136 IT professionals, representing a full range of small, medium, and large organizations and vertical industry sectors. The survey base includes only respondents who said they personally specified, directly purchased, influenced the purchase of, or administered storage network products or services for their organization.

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The survey was created by Heavy Reading to gather quantitative data to help storage technology suppliers and network operators answer the following questions about enterprise deployment of SAN and STS:

Current storage environment at respondent organizations:
Are organizations already involved in SAN extension?
Which technologies are they using (IP, DWDM, Sonet/SDH)?
What are the current trends in storage capacity and growth?
Which original system manufacturer (OSM) partners are being used?
What storage applications are being used?
What is the primary business driver for SAN usage today?
What will be the drivers for future SAN usage?

Key drivers for use of remote storage and SAN interconnection:
What business requirements or applications are driving the need for STS?
How do organizations evaluate and justify new investments and purchases?
Where do STS and SAN interconnection rank among top priorities for overall IT investment?

Specific enterprise user requirements for STS:
What kinds of applications are required?
How much bandwidth is needed?
What are the distances between intended primary and secondary sites?
What key criteria would be most important in selecting an STS provider?
Which providers are viewed as being best suited to deliver STS?
What are the availability-related requirements for service-level agreements (SLAs)?
What do enterprise users see as the growth prospects for their use of STS?
Which underlying network technologies are viewed by enterprise users as the best choices for STS providers?

Enterprise user preferences for additional services from an STS provider:
Are enterprise users interested in STS providers designing an end-to-end solution, including the need to provide "certification" of the service or solution?
Do enterprise users want STS providers to install, test, manage, monitor, and maintain the network?
Are enterprise users interested in an STS that is managed by the provider, with native storage interfaces, or would they prefer to buy generic transport from the provider, then purchase and manage SAN extension equipment themselves or through a third party?

Report Scope and Structure

Heavy Reading's 2007 Enterprise User Survey on Storage Area Networks & Storage Transport Services is structured as follows:

Section I is an introduction to the report, with complete report key findings.

Section II details key demographic data about survey respondents, including information on participants broken down by company size and industry type.

Section III analyzes survey results related to current enterprise storage environments as reported by survey respondents.

Sections IV explores survey results related to enterprise plans for SAN extension as reported by survey respondents.

Section V examines the different technologies employed for SAN extension and STSs and equipment vendor preferences.

Section VI addresses survey questions related directly to enterprise use of STSs offered by service providers and their views on what those providers should offer.

The report is essential reading for a wide range of industry participants, including the following:

Storage network technology suppliers: How will the market for SAN, SAN extension, and STS take shape over the coming months and years? How will the expected market shift toward smaller businesses affect your product lines and revenue prospects and opportunities? Do prospective buyers view your company as a leader in this sector?
Telecom service providers: How is the STS sector likely to evolve over the next two years? Will demand for STS increase significantly, and which types of organizations are most receptive to STS? What are end-user expectations regarding the quality and cost of STS, and how do those expectations mesh with your services?
Investors: Which technology suppliers and network operators are in the best position to thrive in this market sector in the months and years ahead? How significant will growth be in the SAN, SAN extension, and STS markets? Which companies are emerging as the perceived leaders in this sector, and which ones are likely to struggle for market share?

Heavy Reading's 2007 Enterprise User Survey on Storage Area Networks & Storage Transport Services is published in PDF format.

PRICE: $3,995
Analyst at Large, Heavy Reading
A regular contributor to Light Reading Insider, James Crawshaw was previously a financial analyst covering the telecom equipment sector...
Storage area networks (SANs)
SAN extension
Storage transport service (STS)
Current and projected use of SAN and STS by enterprise users
Projected spending on storage network products and services
Key drivers for use of remote storage and SAN interconnection
Enterprise requirements for STS
User requirements for additional services from STS provider
Analysis of results from an exclusive worldwide survey of 136 enterprise users (representing a full range of small, medium, and large enterprises) regarding current and projected deployment of SAN, SAN extension, and STS
Insight into enterprise plans for deploying specific SAN technologies, as well as interest in carrier-delivered STS
Evaluation of the key factors driving increased enterprise deployment of SAN, SAN extension, and STS
PRICE: $3,995
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