In this week's column, I offer more results from the recent Storage UPDATE survey, focusing on the figures for Storage Area Networks (SANs). The results measure some significant changes since Storage UPDATE's June 2000 survey. Part 1 of the survey results is available.

SAN Deployments
The past 10 months have seen a major increase in the number of SANs that you've deployed in your enterprise. You answered the question, "Do you have a Storage Area Network (SAN) installed at your company?" as follows (for comparison, the June 2000 results appear in parentheses):

  • We currently use a SAN—33.1 percent (14.7 percent)
  • Within 1 year—22.1 percent (29.3 percent)
  • In 2 to 3 years—16.0 percent (19.8 percent)
  • No SANs or plans for SANs—2.5 percent (32.8 percent)
  • Don't know—26.4 percent (3.4 percent)

About twice as many of you answered this question as answered it in the previous survey. Note a nearly 20-point increase in SAN deployment, with a significant decrease in the number who have no plans to deploy SANs. Also note, however, the increase in the number who don't know whether they will deploy SANs. With Y2K concerns behind us, apparently those of you who wanted SANs got them; those who didn't, did not. About 64 percent of you don't have SANs; 15 percent have one; about 21 percent have two or more.

You tell us that 76 percent of you have fewer than 20 servers or storage servers on your SANs. Almost 28 percent have between 20 and 100 servers or storage servers on your SAN. The size of SANs is distributed as follows:

  • Less than 500GB—27.5 percent
  • 500GB to 1TB—26.1 percent
  • 1TB to 3TB—27.5 percent
  • 3TB to 10TB—13.0 percent
  • 10TB to 50TB—2.9 percent
  • More than 50TB—2.9 percent

Clearly SANs are diverse, but if you break the numbers into general categories, 54 percent use small RAID arrays; 28 percent use midsized or collated storage assets on their SANs; and 19 percent probably use consolidated storage (large arrays). Apparently, Windows is still primarily a distributed storage market, and most SANs on Windows-based networks are relatively small.

When asked "What issues are driving you to install SANs? (Check all that apply)," you listed the issues as follows:

  • Improved storage management—100.0 percent
  • Savings through storage consolidation—96.8 percent
  • Require high availability (HA)—96.8 percent
  • Scalability—75.5 percent
  • Better system architecture—54.3 percent
  • Data sharing—47.9 percent
  • Multi-OS—44.7 percent
  • Reduce network traffic—37.2 percent
  • Other—6.4 percent

To the question "What issues have either prevented you from installing a SAN or made this task difficult? (Check all that apply)," you answered as follows:

  • High cost of deployment—100.0 percent
  • Technology not quite ready—56.5 percent
  • Lack of standards—42.4 percent
  • Need not determined—38.8 percent
  • Required IT staff—36.0 percent
  • Products don't interoperate—34.1 percent
  • Management software not sufficient—22.4 percent
  • Don't know—18.8 percent
  • Integrators difficult to find or unqualified—12.9 percent
  • No issues that prevent deployment—8.2 percent
  • Other—7.1 percent

To the question "What applications have you deployed or are you planning to deploy on your SAN? (Check all that apply)," you answered as follows:

  • Backup and recovery—100.0 percent
  • File services—98.8 percent
  • Database/data warehouse—93.0 percent
  • Enterprise messaging—55.8 percent
  • Internet applications—43.0 percent
  • Electronic commerce—31.4 percent
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP)—31.4 percent
  • Don't know—29.1 percent
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)—22.1 percent
  • Streaming media—17.4 percent
  • Supply chain—10.5 percent
  • Other—9.3 percent

I was a little surprised that backup and recovery came in first, but that result underscores just how important LANless or serverless backup is likely to be in the SAN marketplace.

In next week's column, I'll present Part 3 of the survey results—covering Network Attached Storage (NAS), Storage-over-IP (SoIP), and Storage Service Provider (SSP) use.

Several of these questions have been plotted.