Storage still a priority for IT despite economic problems


The IT department in the city of Bryan, Texas, is in the second year of a three-year deployment that is designed to help protect its systems from data loss and downtime. Gustavo Roman, Bryan's IT director, said that since the city's fiscal year just began on Oct. 1, he expects the project to continue as planned. "You don't want to have a knee-jerk reaction," he said of the current economic problems, although he added that the project could face funding issues in the future if the crisis continues.

Likewise, James McCartney, a systems programmer at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, said that while the economic problems eventually could pinch budgets at the school, that hasn't happened yet. But even before the global financial crisis several weeks ago, McCartney said he already was planning to look for ways to save money on storage at Storage Networking World.

One option may be , he said. The university's IT department also is exploring the idea of creating multiple storage tiers to enable less critical data to be kept on less expensive storage systems. "We have everything on mostly high-end storage now," McCartney said. "We're looking for ways to trim that down."

Mike Martin, a senior storage engineer at a retailer based in the Midwest, said budgetary freezes were already implemented earlier this year, before the recent upheavals in the financial markets. No cutbacks have been made since then, though, and several new IT projects, including a virtualization initiative, are still on track, said Martin, who asked that his employer not be identified. "We're business as usual for all intents and purposes," he noted.

A senior vice president of IT at a large bank based on the East Coast said that its IT road map also hasn't been redrawn at this point. "This is not something that you can just change course at the flip of the switch," said the executive, who asked to remain anonymous. "If anything, there is more focus [on IT right now] from a perspective."