Data backup problems still plaguing storage industry

Vendor buy-out trend continues in attempt to 'fill holes in portfolio'
  • Lisa Banks (Computerworld)
  • 06 October, 2010 14:51

Businesses are struggling to backup their data quickly due to outdated infrastructure and slow systems, a storage industry leader has claimed.

According to CommVault Asia-Pacific vice president, Gerry Sillars, managing the process of backing up organisational data was an issue that still plagued IT managers.

“The volume of data is doubling and we need to find a better way to solve issues around data protection,” he said. “The market in general is broken because it takes too long to backup and this uses too much storage space. Today, you need 200 people to backup data.”

According to Sillars, a major reason for this was that vendors were becoming fragmented -- through excessive acquisitions -- in an effort to focus on the entire storage market and thereby were losing focus on the issue of data backup.

“The traditional approach is to go and acquire companies to fill holes in their portfolio...," he claimed. “In my view, there’s too much of a risk for [vendors] to say, ‘let’s go and write a new product'.

"If any of them are taking any note of what the analysts are saying, they would be saying, ‘let’s switch off [acquisitions] and go and do something else’.”

IBRS virtualisation, servers, storage and data centre infrastructure analyst, Dr Kevin McIsaac, backed Sillars view, arguing that some storage companies were growing by acquisition, but said this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for the industry.

“Some companies have grown through acquisition but the problem with this is that you get fragmented products,” he said. “However, both can work and both can fail. I think it’s a mixed bag."

In light of the fragmented market, many organisations were turning to additional storage, as a means of managing back up requirements, McIsaac said.

“If you look at storage and the cost of disk drives, this typically declines between 30 and 50 per cent per annum,” he said. “So the cost of physical hardware is being reduced by half every 18 months.”

The comments follow recent warnings from IT industry leaders that the IT sector may be harmed by a recent increase in buy-out trend that began when Intel purchased McAfee.