Firms are spending more on storage software and services as they look to store new types of digital content, according to analyst IDC.
Richard Villars, the firm's vice-president for storage systems, said in his keynote at the Overland Storage Partner Summit that customers buying storage last year spent only 38 per cent of their budget on hardware, down from 50 per cent a few years ago.
To achieve their goals of increased utilisation and reduced administration, end-users will double their spend on storage software and services as a percentage of their budget over the next four years, he predicted.
The change is in part caused by a growing need to store web site and digital content, such as photos and digital audio, as well as to archive email. In the past storage was mainly about piling up data from enterprise applications such as ERP and CRM.
"Companies thinking of their needs in storage increasingly are realising that all of this data is not going to be in databases but in these new content formats," Villars said.
"That's changing the perspective on what kind of storage or backup systems they will need. The new usage models raise the performance required from storage devices. That performance can only be achieved by placing a greater emphasis on software."
Simon Gay, consultancy practice leader at Computacenter, said: "As a percentage these figures aren't surprising. Spending on hardware is decreasing because customers are starting to manage the kit they already have more efficiently."
Separately, Overland Storage has updated its REO line of disk-based backup appliances, which now can connect directly to its NEO tape automation products.
At the summit the firm introduced three software modules: ProtectionPAC, Multi-SitePAC and AutomationPAC, designed to help VARs bring data-protection services to customers on existing and new REO appliances.
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