There is no question that the recent economic uncertainty will impact organizations on a global scale. Already continents and countries as well as individual companies are being affected daily. Gartner notes that no one is immune with the United States and Western Europe being affected the worse. Examples of the impact include:
- Europe recently put $2.3 trillion on the line to protect the continent’s banks in a unified response to the global financial crisis
- Europe’s largest economy, Germany, is on the edge of recession and poised to come to a halt next year
- Venture capital firms are issuing strict advisories for startups while established companies are trimming expenses
But just as the dot-com bomb helped us realize faulty business practices, the possibility of recession will more than likely help us realize how to better spend corporate monies. Gartner notes that the impact on IT budgets in 2009 will not be as extreme as those suffered in 2001; though it only projects a 2.3 percent increase in 2009 versus its previous 2009 projections which pegged increases at 5.8 percent. Since IT budgets for 2009 are certain to remain uncertain in the coming months, this is obviously the time to rethink future direction and how to optimize current IT expenditures.
The storage industry and how companies utilize storage is ear-marked as one sector that will continue to do well despite a rocky economy. Companies continue to need storage as the amount of data that companies manage continues to grow at an unabated rate. But this does not mean companies can unabashedly throw more storage at their storage problems. Instead companies need to become more conscientious about the quantity, type and value of the storage that they acquire so they need to look for innovative products and features that will allow them to do more with less. Innovative technologies such as cloud computing, SaaS, utility computing, managed services and thin provisioning will now all play key roles as these are pay-as-you-go services, have lower up-front costs, enable IT to enable to respond more quickly and add new features without needing to invest in new hardware.
In this respect, 3PAR is one company that is leading the charge by providing utility storage and thin provisioning features. 3PAR offers IT management a “utility” storage array platform that reduces the cost, complexity, and risks associated with deploying and managing a storage infrastructure. They provide a strong foundation though its Thin Provisioning feature so companies can provision virtual capacity to applications once and purchase pooled physical capacity only as applications truly require it for written data, eliminating the over-purchasing and over-allocating of storage resources. And, with 3PAR’s recent announcement on October 16 to integrate its thin provisioning technology with Symantec’s file system-level information to automatically reclaim unused space within thinly provisioned virtual volumes, we can expect continued optimization of storage utilization coupled with advanced infrastructure automation.
3PAR’s Utility Storage further helps companies reduce capital expenditures by enabling them to initiate larger numbers of server consolidation projects, deploying more virtual machines (VMs) using fewer resources. With the use of 3PAR’s Thin Provisioning, organizations can provision large amounts of virtual capacity up-front to the ESX server, and then only purchase physical capacity only as additional VMs or provisioned or application data is written. This eliminates allocated but unused capacity while simplifying storage administration. The combination of Thin Provisioning and VMware is ‘do more with less’ on steroids – it should not to be ignored in times of budget stress.
In these volatile times, 3PAR isn’t hiding under the rock. Utility storage, and its impact on utility computing, is no longer just being promoted by a broad range of industry analysts, but it is enabling IT to shift strategically from meager store-houses of information to leveraging innovative technologies to provide corporate advantage even during an uncertain economy. Clearly 3PAR has come a long way, has broken out of the start-up mode, and is advancing storage technology to new levels–just in time for IT to breath a sigh of relief during these troubling times.