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Enterprise data protection shopping lists focus on cost, scalability

Changing backup applications or processes may keep storage managers awake at night, but cost and scalability concerns remain firm.

Data storage is undergoing some major changes and shifts these days, but one thing remains the same: If you have data stored somewhere, you have to protect it. Traditionally one of the biggest data center headaches, backup has become an even bigger pain as the amount of saved data stores continue to rise. And while changing backup apps or processes is enough to keep a storage manager awake at night, a lot of companies are evaluating their enterprise data protection infrastructures and girding for change.

When backup admins go shopping, cost is still the key consideration, as cited by 73% of our survey respondents. But coping with capacity is always a concern, so scalability (55%), recovery time objectives (51%) and capacity (45%) all rank high on the list of purchasing criteria. In addition to how much data needs to be backed up, storage pros need to consider where that data resides and what kind of data it is. On average, our respondents said they supported seven company offices or sites—but 27% have to cope with 10 or more sites.

Databases are the most common type of data that requires backing up noted 78% of the respondents; virtual server data (65%), ERP apps (57%) and user shares (56%) also gobble up a lot of backup capacity. On average, our intrepid survey takers manage 252 TBs of stored data.

The main reasons for storage managers to go on their backup shopping sprees are the need for more capacity or newer versions of products (55%), but nearly as many -- 52% -- are looking for efficiency, reliability or performance improvements. Expansion to accommodate new applications or additional offices was the reason noted by 43% of respondents.

When our storage managers fill their backup shopping carts, 33% of them will load them up with deduplication products; 40% of their peers already use dedupe. Additional disk storage resources will also likely fill shopping carts, as 39% say they'll pick up more capacity.

Upgrading data protection products can also have a ripple effect, requiring updates to other parts of the storage infrastructure. Forty-six percent say cloud services are in their sights, 35% see even more storage in their futures and 29% expect to ramp up on servers.

Factors in backup tech purchasing
Backup support
Data types that are backed up
Backup purchase plans
Backup purchase factors
Other techs as part of backup project

About the author:
Rich Castagna is TechTarget's VP of Editorial/Storage Media Group.

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