2006 Will Be a Watershed Year for the SMB Storage Market, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – March 29, 2006 – Small and medium businesses (SMBs) show a growing interest for larger companies' storage solutions and the share of total storage technology spending represented by advanced approaches will be increasing in the next 12 months, a recent IDC survey found.

"The stars are aligning to make 2006 the breakthrough year for SMBs stepping up to advanced storage solutions," said Ray Boggs, vice president for IDC's SMB research practice. "The deployment of local area networks and broadband has helped drive storage needs to unprecedented levels, and a growing number of manufacturers have been crafting storage products and services to meet the often conflicting SMB needs of performance, ease of use, and affordability."

"Medium-sized firms have the same requirements as larger firms for improved backup and recovery that disk-based data protection schemas can deliver and are perhaps more open to using exclusively disk in their protection processes," added Laura DuBois, research director for Storage Software at IDC.

Key survey findings include:

— SMBs continue to rely on internal disks to meet their storage needs, however, medium-sized firms will increase their storage area network (SAN) capacity in the overall mix in the next 12 months.

— While the top small business storage priority for the next 12 months is to expand storage capacity, enhancing disaster recovery is the top priority of medium-sized businesses.

— Small businesses devote the largest share of disk storage to email and digital content. In contrast, medium-sized devote the largest share of their disk storage to backup and recovery, as well as data-intensive applications.

IDC's study, U.S. SMB Storage 2006: The Move to More Advanced Storage Features (IDC #34894) analyzes the results of surveys of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and compares storage technology acquisition and use to that of large enterprises. The study examines interest in a variety of advanced technology solutions, including network-attached storage, information life-cycle management and storage area networks, and discusses requirements for the next generation of storage products, as well as vendor preferences.

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