Storage Surge

The market for storage solutions particularly in the enterprise sector has matured in the Middle East with opportunities emerging for solution providers in big data, high availability and disaster recovery, data sharing, reliable backup, centralised administration and remote support

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Storage Surge
By  Piers Ford Published  December 25, 2013

The market for storage solutions particularly in the enterprise sector has matured in the Middle East with opportunities emerging for solution providers in big data, high availability and disaster recovery, data sharing, reliable backup, centralised administration and remote support.

The enterprise storage market in the Middle East is getting mixed reviews at the moment. In principle, it should be booming as many organisations turn to the cloud for services and solutions that reinforce the demand for a centralised data repository.

In fact, analysts are cautious about current levels of hardware investment across the region. While the external storage market grew by a modest 3% in the second quarter, according to research and analyst firm IDC, sluggish project fulfilment has been applying the brakes in some localities.

“Barring a few bright spots in the region, most of the bigger countries witnessed a decline in storage investment during this quarter, with pipeline projects remaining uninitiated,” said Swapna Subramani, senior research analyst at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey. “However, key infrastructure projects in the region tend to be implemented toward the second half of the year.”

The word on the ground is more positive, and vendors say that there are plenty of opportunities for resellers to exploit the benefits of enterprise storage strategies, which include common data management and protection, high availability and disaster recovery, reliable backup and restoration, and centralised administration and support – scalable for workloads of up to 300GB, and all without the need for excessive new cabling or the creation of expensive subsystems.

A closer look at the market reveals a great deal of variety in the way organisations are treating storage as a key element of their enterprise data management strategies.

“One of the biggest trends we are seeing in the market is that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work,” said Husam Abdul Hamid, manager, Channel Sales at vendor NetApp Gulf.

“This is very evident with regard to shared-IT and big data as the storage requirements for each of these is completely different. Shared-IT enterprise storage requires data management, virtualisation and cloud integration capabilities, while big data requires high-performance, dedicated storage with data management being performed at the application layer. Further, emerging trends include the uptake of flash technologies in order to drive better performance, as well as greater consolidation of projects.”

Hamid said storage should be the cornerstone of any enterprise data management strategy, and organisations have come to realise this over time.

“The way storage is consumed has changed over the years as enterprises have moved from direct-attached and siloed storage infrastructures to virtualised environments, to cloud storage and deep application integration,” he said. “But one thing has been and will remain true: storage hosts the data that is the lifeblood of enterprises. This makes it fundamental to a company’s success.”

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