Study Highlights Data Storage Trends

According to a study released by Aberdeen Group Inc. this week, the role data warehouses play in the enterprise is changing, and businesses need to alter they way they deal with data storage issues. Data storage is no longer looked at in isolation, but rather as part of a company's "information utility," which encompasses servers and other communications platforms, the study says. As enterprises aim at systems integration, the data warehouse comes greatly into play, says David Hill, vice president of storage research at Aberdeen Group. Hill says that changing business needs, as well as greater competition among a growing list of data storage vendors, have pushed the trends of storage networking and automation. Though data storage vendors may make great claims, Hill warns that a lot of the promise of a fully integrated data warehouse will not be available anytime soon. "Not everything will be in place in 2003," Hills says. "No company has the total storage solution yet, but that is where it is going." In addition, the study says that companies claiming their products are self-cleansing and provide real-time, on-demand information and reports may be immature. Hill also notes that many small companies offering small-scale storage solutions will be bought up by the larger database companies as they race to create enterprisewide storage platforms based on changing business needs. The three things companies need to do in the near future, Hill says, is reduce data-management complexity, continue to provide quality-of-data-warehouse service, and keep costs down. "As companies continue to add more storage, the complexity increases, moving from a linear to a nonlinear design," Hill says. "Companies need to manage these complex systems carefully." Thus, the study claims that storage planning is key, and companies should consider "sticking to the basics," because budgets are tight, so spending money on an immature storage system may be risky.
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