Most industries acknowledge that increasing IT Storage needs is a fact of life even in the face of economic downturn.

Newer and more efficient ways of optimizing existing storage facilities are being explored as budgets are tight and capital outlay has been squeezed, writes Samantha Sai for

Hu Yoshida, VP and CTO of Hitachi Data Systems, says: "In this economy, it will be important for IT professionals to stick to the fundamentals and focus on ROA and the ability to break even quickly."

Major Storage investment priorities for IT Professionals in 2009 have been identified and listed unequivocally.

Virtualized Storage services already in place require optimization. The direction of thinking seems to be virtualization of external storage and combining it with lower cost tiers of storage and thin provisioning.

The stress is on curtailing data growth, while maximizing current investments, to get quick returns.

The drive is to exploit the 70-80 per cent capacity that remains largely unused in existing storage.

Unstructured data growth remains a persistent problem.

Data storage optimization would require dealing with unstructured data on a war footing.

The imperative is to archive unstructured data and map resources back to the bottom line of information needs.

Tiered and priority ordering of information is identified as an essential activity that will help identify data that can be moved and archived without affecting critical data access.

Consequently, the archiving solutions features being sought include simple process management, reduction in TCO and mitigation of risk.

Active archiving solutions that are being put in place, have been recognized as integral to organization management initiatives and two tier storage systems are being moved to archival tier.

Closely associated with the above processes is the data de-duplication process. Market conditions rule that duplicate data comes at a cost and de-duplication will save costs and improve productivity.

Additionally, data compression and reduction in number of data backups are seen as methods to save costs.

It is expected that as the year 2009 advances more and more companies will turn their attention from optimization and archiving needs towards Risk Mitigation and savings that can be had form power and cooling costs.

Green, clean data centers will be seen as a real and urgent requirement.

The need to stay ahead of energy issues will be dictated by upcoming regulations of EMEA and increasing purchasing requirements in the USA.

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