In this week's column, I offer a third set of results from the recent Storage UPDATE survey, including the figures for Network Attached Storage (NAS) deployments, Storage-over-IP (SoIP), and use of Storage Service Providers (SSPs). (Click on Part 1 or Part 2 to see the earlier reports of the Storage UPDATE survey results.)

NAS Plans
I'm still looking for the question that will indicate that NAS is catching on with the general Windows enterprise audience. Last year, only 21 percent of respondents had NAS plans (63 percent didn't). The few others who answered the question didn't know. This year, I asked "What percentage of your shared network enterprise storage capacity is deployed on NAS devices?" The results make NAS's market penetration look paltry.

Less than 10 percent—80.6 percent
10 percent to 25 percent—9.6 percent
25 percent to 50 percent—3.2 percent
50 percent to 75 percent—3.2 percent
75 percent to 90 percent—3.2 percent
More than 90 percent—0.0 percent

NAS on Windows-based networks looks like a virgin market to me. NAS market demographics show that users employ NAS largely because it's easy to use, cheap, and provides multi-OS support. To the question "What features are prompting you to use NAS? (Check all that apply)," you answered as follows:

Ease of use—100.0 percent
Don't know—78.8 percent
Attractive price/performance—76.9 percent
Multi-OS support—76.9 percent
Reliability—46.2 percent
Ease of storage consolidation—30.6 percent
Complexity required to implement SANs—21.2 percent
Other—19.2 percent
Multivendor support—17.3 percent
Use NAS as a front end to SANs—17.3 percent

To the question, "What issues are barriers to your deploying NAS? (Check all that apply)," you answered as follows:

Management software not sufficient—100.0 percent
No issues—67.3 percent
Integrators difficult to find—43.6 percent
High cost of deployment—38.2 percent
Concerns about its fault tolerance—21.8 percent
Other—16.4 percent
Lack of security or virus protection—14.5 percent
Technology not quite ready—12.7 percent
Lack of standards—9.1 percent
Need not determined—9.1 percent
Required IT staff—7.2 percent
Don't know—5.4 percent
Interoperability concerns—0.0 percent

For the following question, "What applications do you use NAS for? (Check all that apply)," I'm not surprised that file services come first, but I am a little surprised that backup and databases precede Internet applications.

File services—100.0 percent
Don't know—67.3 percent
Backup and recovery—43.6 percent
Database/data warehouse—38.2 percent
Internet applications—21.8 percent
Messaging—14.5 percent
Customer relationship management (CRM)—12.7 percent
Electronic commerce—9.1 percent
Streaming media—9.1 percent
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)—7.3 percent
Other—5.5 percent
Supply chain—0.0 percent

Storage-over-IP and Using SSPs
Space precludes me from fully analyzing many of the survey questions. But I'll leave you with two interesting results. To the question, "How likely are you to deploy significant enterprise storage assets using Storage-over-IP (SoIP) when that technology becomes available?" the scattered responses might be translated as "Show me some products and I'll think about it."

Certain—5.8 percent
Very likely—17.9 percent
Somewhat likely—30.8 percent
Somewhat unlikely—5.1 percent
Not likely—14.1 percent
Don't know—26.3 percent

To the question related to the Storage Service Provider (SSP) market, "What enterprise storage service(s) would you consider using or do you outsource? (Check all that apply)," you replied as follows:

Do not outsource storage—100.0 percent
Backup, recovery, and disaster management—37.2 percent
Service and support—37.2 percent
Architecture and design—24.4 percent
Don't know—24.4 percent
Turnkey brought inhouse—3.5 percent
Other—2.3
Storage needs outsourced to a vendor—0.0 percent

Your answers indicate that only 50 percent of you participate in this market, with perhaps 30 percent of you using SSP services and about 20 percent using SSP utilities. Some SSPs to whom I've shown the survey results were surprised at how many of you answered this question. I think it's a measure of your technological prowess. You are—apparently—a unique group.

Several of these questions have been plotted. Click each topic of interest in the left column.