Cloud storage boom as users rush to outsourcers

Simon Sharwood

The Spring 2011 edition of IDC’s Storage User Demand Survey says 40%of enterprise storage users plan to outsource some of their storage needs in the next twelve months, with “an average of over 250TB will be acquired” by each user.

The SUDS survey, released in September 2011 and recently obtained by SearchStorage ANZ,  spoke with 998 organisations with “50% of respondents were from the Americas (with 9% from Latin America); roughly one-quarter of the respondents came from Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and the balance from EMEA.”

Today, the report says, “27% of the respondents used some form of outsourced storage. Those that have outsourced capacity stated that roughly 35% of their total storage capacity is outsourced.”

18% of those surveyed said they will ignore would outsourced storage, but the report says “17% of the respondents suggested that in the next 12 months, they were considering moving all of their storage to an external storage provider.”

The survey also asked respondents to rank their preferred storage vendors by brand, with the results depicted in the table below where EMC leads in all but one category and NetApp is a clear second choice for all but two categories. Dell is only mentioned once.

Top 3 Vendors by Applications
Rank Business Intelligence and Analytics Home Directories Microsoft Exchange Microsoft SharePoint Oracle Applications SAP VDI Content Depots and Public Cloud Infrastructure
2 NetApp NetApp HP and NetApp (tied) HP IBM, NetApp, and HP (tied) Hitachi NetApp HP
3 HP HP IBM NetApp and Dell (tied)   IBM HP and IBN (tied) Dell


n = 998
VDI = virtual desktop infrastructures
Note: Data is based on IDC's estimates of 2010 vendors' external enterprise storage system capacity shipped in support of specific applications.
Source: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, March 2011, and SUDS Survey analysis, 2011

SUDS also asked users about loyalty to their current storage providers, and found that organisations with more than 10TB of installed storage were likely to stick with their current vendors for future purchases. Owners of IBM and HP systems were the exception and “… presented strong preferences for other brands as well.”

The survey also found 79% of respondents “considering Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) use on their storage systems (as opposed to on their SAN-attached servers) in some way in the next 12 months, although few made concrete commitments to acquire and operate the technology. IDC therefore predicted FCoE won’t account for more than 1% of storage connections in 2013.

The survey also found users prefer to acquire mid-range storage arrays, even for mission-critical data and applications. High-end systems were perceived as “equally preferred” compared to mid-range systems.