In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, protecting data through the use of system area networks (SANs) has become one of the most important priorities for U.S. corporations, according to a new survey by RBC Capital Markets and the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

Approximately half of the companies with more than $1 billion in revenue reported to have deployed a SAN to protect and store data, the survey found. This compares to a 2000 survey that found only 16.2 percent of large companies had deployed a SAN, and small to mid-tier companies are quickly moving to embrace the technology, the survey showed.

SANs allow companies to easily and efficiently store key data in secure off- site facilities. Prior to Sept. 11th, the issue was not a top priority for every company. “The September 11th terrorist attacks woke up a lot of companies to this issue," says Robert Montague, research analyst for RBC Capital Markets in Memphis, Tenn. "The result is that this area is one of the hottest sectors of technology. We are seeing even small and mid-tier companies employing SANs to protect vital corporate information."

The survey of 73 companies providing SAN services to companies revealed the emergence of the small and mid-tier level as an important new market for SAN and storage vendors. "The survey showed there is a significant opportunity for companies with the foresight to develop products and services that meet the needs of this segment," Montague says.

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