Storage administrators demand simplicity

IT staffers at all levels are now tasked with managing data storage. They demand simplicity (but want power, too).

The torrent of data that threatens to overwhelm many corporate IT departments has driven demand for new types of storage technology. Storage managers aren't asking for ever-larger, ever-more-complex boxes like those that play leading roles in traditional marketing campaigns and vendor bragfests.

Storage managers need faster, higher-capacity hardware to keep up with volumes of data that nearly double every two years.

What they need even more, however, is simplicity.

"With budgets growing slowly and head counts actually going down a bit, the challenge eventually becomes, How do you manage 30% more data without 30% more budget or 30% more head count?" says Dick Csaplar, a virtualization and storage analyst at Aberdeen Group.

Aberdeen's research indicates that most companies have between eight and 18 storage specialists on staff, most with job descriptions that have been expanding for years.

"It's not enough to know which box in the warehouse has the tape with the data you need," says Csaplar. "You have to be able to run e-discovery searches and produce the data within strict time limits. That's a big change even with the same amount of data."

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