Storage professionals less sure of security

Storage professionals are feeling less confident in the security of their storage networking infrastructures, according to an informal poll conducted during the Storage Networking World conference in Orlando on Tuesday.

Of 201 respondents, 31 percent said their infrastructures were "weak" in the face of both physical and hacking threats, while another 31 percent said their infrastructures were "100 percent able to withstand hackers, but weaker to physical threats." Another 30 percent described their company's security as "redundant and 100 percent able to withstand a physical threat but weaker to hackers." Eight percent described their security as "bulletproof."

Those numbers are in sharp contrast to the results of a similar poll at April's SNW conference, where 37 percent of respondents described their storage networking infrastructure as bulletproof. Both conferences were sponsored by Computerworld.

Meanwhile, tools for storage resource management were cited as the ones that were most needed and the ones most often used to resolve complexity issues. Of the 233 IT professionals participating, 36 percent said storage resource management was what their IT shops needed most, while 32 percent said information life-cycle management (ILM) was their greatest storage management need. Other needs identified were storage virtualization at 17 percent and regulatory-compliant archiving tools at 15 percent.

Compared with a similar poll results from the April conference, the numbers suggest a growing interest in ILM. In the April poll, 26 percent of respondents identified ILM as their greatest storage need, while 43 percent identified storage resource management.

The contrast was more marked when users were asked how they addressed storage complexity issues. Of 251 respondents, 56 percent said they implemented new and better storage resource management and storage-area network (SAN) management tools. Trailing far behind were implementing new virtualization technology, with 15 percent of the responses; outsourcing at 8 percent and hiring more technical support staff at 7 percent. Fourteen percent of respondents said storage complexity was not an issue at their company.

The numbers show a dramatic preference for storage resource management tools when compared with results of the poll at the April conference, where 36 percent of respondents said they used storage resource management and SAN management tools to address complexity issues and 23 percent said they implemented storage automation or workflow processes.

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