Budget Woes Impact Midsize Enterprise Storage Plans

disaster recovery

An IT budget cut for 2009 and no expectations of a spending rebound in 2010 means that Greenhill School, an Addison, Texas-based private educational institution, is finding new ways to make do with its existing infrastructure, said Michael Kesner, director of computing resources.

Greenhill School originally planned to increase its NAS capacity and implement virtualization in 2009, and upgrade its network and security infrastructures in 2010, but those budgets were cut, Kesner said.

Disaster recovery at Greenhill School currently consists of Kesner carrying some tapes home and spreading others in fireproof safes in different buildings around the campus, making this a priority for when the budget becomes available. "If a building burns down, we can recover," he said. "But what if there's a tornado?"

At least the institution has a basic disaster recovery plan on paper with lists of all its servers, vendors and applications, Kesner said. "There's enough breadcrumbs to put the network back together."

Sponsored post

Unfortunately, getting the budget during these down economic times is difficult. "I need to look at what my IT dollars can do now, and push the disaster recover plan off until later," Kesner said. "A disaster is one of those things hopefully no one will see."

HealthTronics, an Austin, Texas-based provider of urological services, planned for 2009 budget cuts by stockpiling storage equipment last year, said Daniel Ochoa, IT network.

Ochoa said HealthTronics' storage spending is expected to rise in 2010 compared to this year as the company explores ways to consolidate its backup technologies.

HealthTronics' tight IT budget was mainly spent on disaster recovery, which was possible because of investments in the last couple years in virtualization and data replication technologies, he said.

The company has looked at adopting iSCSI technology for building storage networks, but for now is sticking with Fibre Channel technology because of the better prices that come from having the infrastructure already in place. It is still too early to look at newer storage technologies like Fibre Channel over Ethernet, Ochoa said.

HealthTronics depends heavily on Computex, a Houston-based solution provider, for its Hewlett-Packard and Data Domain storage equipment and for help with services, Ochoa said. "For managed services, they're second to none," he said. "We have a really great relationship."

Paul Capital Partners, a New York-based investment firm, had a stable storage budget in 2009, and plans to implement virtual storage technology as a way to capitalize on its virtual server infrastructure to expand its disaster recovery capabilities.

Sergey Bushlyar, executive director for Paul Capital Partners, said his company already has a contingency disaster recovery plan in place, and is trying to extend it and leverage VMware to replace its existing stand-alone solution. That includes possibly purchasing virtual storage appliance technology from LeftHand, which HP acquired last year, Bushlyar said.

Unlike many companies, Joyce Meyer Ministries, Fenton, Mo., has seen its IT budget grow, but is still being cautious about spending, said Andrea Turek, IT Division manager.

The organization just expanded it EMC SAN infrastructure to include about 165 TB of capacity on Clariion CX-3 and Clariion CX-4 arrays using a combination of Fibre Channel and SATA hard drives. A lot of that capacity is used for video development.

Joyce Meyer Ministries is currently building a new data warehouse to replace the ad hoc data repository it has been doing, and is now finalizing a disaster recovery site in Canada.

The organization is also exploring the use of cloud computing and storage-as-a-service as a way to do backups in the future. "We're not even sure how much data we are backing up," Turek said.