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UK firms find virtualisation storage a step too far

Survey finds strong appetite for server virtualisation projects compared to storage ones.


One in five virtualisation projects in the UK will fail to reach the storage stage, according to research.

While 70 per cent of respondents indicated that they will be investing in server virtualisation, only 55 per cent intended to invest in storage virtualisation.

Jeremy Wallis, systems engineering director at data management specialist NetApp, which carried out the survey, said he was surprised that over 20 per cent were overlooking the benefits of storage virtualisation.

"As IT departments respond to pressure to do more with less, we will see an increase in virtualisation projects. The drive for efficiency is clearly relentless for many IT decision makers," he said.

The majority (76 per cent) of the 200 IT professionals questioned saw virtualisation as key drivers of efficiency and productivity in IT departments this year, even if some savings have disappointed in the past.

On average, just over half (58 per cent) of IT decision makers said that they anticipated dealing with budget cuts with 91 per cent of those working in the public sector.

"This is perhaps an opportunity for end users and also the channel, as resellers and systems integrators can support those looking to achieve greater efficiencies without compromising on performance or business agility," added Wallis.

The appetite for both server and storage virtualisation was strongest in retail, distribution and transport industries, with a difference of 6 per cent between the two. This compared drastically with manufacturing, where the gap was over 40 per cent.

However, United Biscuits, the owner of brands such as Hula Hoops and McCoys crisps, is one such manufacturer benefitting from both NetApp's server and storage virtualisation offerings.

Steve Summersgill, United Biscuits technical services manager, said the company found it needed a virtual storage system that would support its increasingly virtualised environment and provide simultaneous backup and instant failover.

"NetApp offered a solution that could integrate into our current SAN [storage area network] environment, providing additional flexible infrastructure storage," he said.

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