Storage Over WANs: No Plans

An online survey conducted by Byte and Switch, Light Reading's sister site, has turned up some disquieting information for suppliers of wide-area storage services and equipment.

Contrary to popular and analyst opinion, the poll shows that only a small number of folk are really using MANs or WANs for storage traffic today. Even more worryingly, 51 percent of respondents say they have no plans to use WANs for this application (see Metro, Wide, or None?).

Out of 105 readers who took part in the poll, 16 percent are currently using a wide-area network to carry storage traffic and only 33 percent are planning to use a WAN for this application in the future.

There's every indication that these controversial results will come as a surprise to some companies, particularly Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). They are on record as saying that the market for connecting SANs over the wide area is going to big business. Maybe not as big as they hope (see Nortel Lights Up Storage Networks and All Eyes on Cisco).

According to the survey, the metro storage networking market is slightly more promising. Only 11 percent are currently using a metro network to carry their storage traffic, but respondents are split down the middle on their future plans, with 45 percent claiming they do plan to use a metro network to carry this traffic and 44 percent with no plans to deploy a MAN specifically for storage.

A significant number of respondents (31 percent) are quite happy to keep their SANs in-house, too, a sign that outsourcing storage to a storage service provider (SSP) is not a top priority for many companies (see SSPs Switch to Selling Software).

Byte and Switch's next poll focuses on the prospects facing the storage service providers. Click here to take it: SSPs: Sure Thing -- or Shakeout?

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch http://www.byteandswitch.com

Want to know more? The big cheeses of the storage networking industry will be discussing this topic in a session at StorageNet, Byte and Switch’s annual conference, being held in New York City, October 2-5, 2001. Check it out at StorageNet2001.

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MAS300z 12/4/2012 | 10:06:39 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans If you have not looked into Microsoft DFS and managing it with StorageX by NuView then no wonder bandwidth and cost are going to keep being the center of the discusssion.
wimchatta 12/4/2012 | 8:00:46 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans Well...

If you agree with the hypothesis that there are distinct product adoption stages to market acceptance of new technologies / ways of doing business, these numbers look very promising for the remote storage industry.

The numbers say that metro remote storage will see early majority in the very near future, and WAN remote storageis definitely getting traction with early adopters.

How would Geoffrey Moore look at this?

gloval 12/4/2012 | 8:00:41 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans Who are the main crop of startups
focusing on the MAN as opposed to the WAN?
opticalrecruiter 12/4/2012 | 8:00:39 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans Can't help but notice Entrada Networks was left out of those companies notorious for implementing SAN's over WAN's. They are a huge advertiser on LR and B&S, maybe that's why.
constantine 12/4/2012 | 8:00:24 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans Indeed. An interesting technology/business model adoption parallel can be drawn with metro DWDM. Only a short 4 years ago the same "not going to adopt" conclusions were reached in the telco infrastructure market regarding DWDM in the metro. Today, the market growth/adoption numbers for DWDM in the metro justify a far different conclusion!
storageguru 12/4/2012 | 8:00:16 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans I am very surprised at the conclusion Maitland drew based on the results. I think he intentionally wanted to create some discussion about the article. If he would have concluded that 33% and 45% is a healthy % for people moving to Storage over WAN or MAN, then the article would have been a ho hummer. As it stands, he has most readers wondering why the numbers are so negative and I challenge to Maitland to respond - since he didn't address it in the article. From my perspective, if 45% of the participants plan to move to a MAN, then this is a huge $$ market!! What did Maitland expect? 75% or 100% adoption out of the gate? I challenge him to do the math and see what a 33% and 45% add up to in market opportunity for this space.

No, we are not going to question the survey itself as Maitland suggests. Let the results stand. But I am going to question the conclusion that this indicates less adoption to SWAN and SMAN than was originally expected by the providers.
Steve Saunders 12/4/2012 | 8:00:15 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans storageguru (nice modest handle, by the way).

Jo is a "she" not a "he" (as in Joanne Maitland).

The article makes a simple point. Vendors and analysts and SSPs and so on have been claiming that between 70 and 90 percent of storage traffic will be networked in the next three to five years. The article points out a discrepancy; that the survey shows that more than half of people have no intention of connecting their networks over WANs.

I assume you sell storage services or equipment for a living, yes?


lightmaster 12/4/2012 | 8:00:15 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans Storageguru, FYI He is a She.
Mr. Sanman 12/4/2012 | 8:00:14 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans Totally. This market is in its infancy. Is anyone even shipping product yet? The fact that so many are considering SAN-WAN deployments in the near term should be taken as a sign of encouragement. As security issues are addressed, more and more enterprises are going to realize the dramatic ROI potential of linking their isolated SANs.
ownstock 12/4/2012 | 8:00:10 PM
re: Storage Over WANs: No Plans People:

The economic value added for storage over WAN is zero. Whatever equipment they can buy, I can buy, at same or lower prices. Same case for building, software, etc.

Explain the bottom line business case how I as a business person can save big bucks sticking my data on someones elses drive, over a WAN, or get out of dodge!

Survey is right on the money.

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