There is a dizzying array of "automatic" storage management functions available to IT professionals these days. From snaps to tiering, to replication, and even integration of the cloud, much of it can be a "set and forget" policy-driven joy! Can't it!?
And things get even more straightforward as the storage environment gets bigger....if not so much from the automatic functions (frankly, many of these are available up and down the storage types these days, although sophistication does vary), then certainly from the fact that larger organizations tend to have more specialists - indeed more IT personnel in general - and therefore likely deeper storage skills and experience to keep everything humming along! Isn't that right!?
Well, as a few tidbits from ESG's 2014 Spending Intentions Survey demonstrate, the picture might not be quite so clear. Perhaps it is the tyranny of big numbers at play, but it seems that scale ( and its likely corollary of sophisticated platforms and people) does not guarantee serenity in the storage world. Take these points, for example, which all compare organizations with over 1PB of storage to those with less than 100TB:
- 60% of the larger organizations will be increasing their storage infrastructure, compared to only 43% of the smaller
- 39% of the big dogs are planning to hire more storage administrators (it's only 20% in the smaller organizations)
- 60% of the PB club are prioritizing technologies that aim to optimize/maximize disk-based capacity over those designed to boost performance - whereas only 29% of their smaller brethren are in that position.
Yes, there are myriad possible explanations and "explain-aways" for each of these. Sure. But the fact remains that, in storage, it clearly doesn't get easier as you get bigger. And, by that way, you don't have to be THAT big to see the effect: 37% of organizations with just 100TB or more of storage cited managing data growth as an IT priority, compared to only 19% of those with under 100TB.
So have pity on those big data centers - it's toughest at the top capacities!