For many organizations, storage management begins and ends with a spreadsheet. At the other end of the spectrum, there are a host of storage resource management (SRM) products that provide a range of storage functions including capacity and performance reporting/analysis, capacity/performance management automation, provisioning, management product integration, application and database integration, and hardware interation.
Yet while storage capacity demands are growing around 50% per year, storage budgets are expected to grow less than 10% and SRM spending, $750 million in 2011, is limping along at a 5% compound annual growth rate (Gartner). “Data growth is not slowing down, and people aren’t going to be funded to manage it all,” said Aptare Marketing VP Walt Duflock. “You might want to look at storage management and analytic tools.”
Aptare, which made it into the Visionary Quadrant of Gartner’s SRM report a year ago, is part of a group of vendors that include: EMC, IBM, NetApp, HP and Symantec (Leaders); Hitachi Data Systems, and SolarWinds (Challengers); and Cisco, Brocade, and CA Technologies (Niche). From an SRM perspective, data continues to drive all the math, said Duflock. “Enterprises will have to be smarter about how they do this. Throwing more storage at the problem…. is being called into question.”
According to TheInfoPro (TIP), a service of 451 Research, the top four storage tasks were migration, with time spent more than double (from 8 to 17% year-over-year), followed by backup administration (moving from 21 to 15%), provisioning (18 to 14%) and administration (17 to 10%). And the Enterprise Strategy Group just reported that 42% of respondents to its annual spending intentions survey indicated that business process improvement is the most important consideration for justifying IT purchases.
The most recent numbers from IDC showed that storage software sales grew less than 1% to $3.36 billion in 2Q12. Data Protection & Recovery and Archiving Software were the two fastest growing market segments with 2.4% and 2.2% year over year growth rates, respectively, or $1.16 billion and $404 million in total revenues.
Aptare has seen major customers double their storage environments, to over 50Bp, in just two years.
“The IT group is being asked to do more and more with less,” said Duflock. Storage administrators, are growing their files by 50-75X, but only 40% for the people behind it. They were managing 80Tb on average a year ago, and today they’re managing 125Tb. And the cost to own a tarabyte of data is $5,000 a year. That’s OpEx, not CapEx, and one reason why interest in cloud storage is growing, he said.
The company, which announced HP 3PAR and CommVault Simpana support for its SRM offering, StorageConsole, in late January, thinks traditional SRM might be approaching mainstream status. However its still very early days for a hybrid on-premise/cloud, hybrid approach, said Duflock.
“The move to cloud is based on economics… its so much cheaper…. and you pay by the drink.”