Cost is now the biggest barrier to SAN purchase and deployment, according to a survey of Storage Networking Industry Association Europe members presented at the SNW-Eurostorage conference in Cannes today.

"We could interpret that as good news because it means that management and interoperability are no longer major concerns," said Charles Inches, who chairs SNIA-Europe's user advisory board.

The survey also revealed that the primary motivation for SAN implementation is now storage consolidation, ahead of ease of management and cost reduction issues.

Inches, who is the IT director of Switzerland's Corner Bank, said that the falling price of storage is actually creating more problems than it solves, because it removes a barrier to rising data volumes.

"The more storage becomes cheaper, the harder it becomes to manage," he said. "The only way to do more with less is through standards."

He added that the key themes for this year identified by the user board are the SNIA Bluefin/SMI-S standard for storage management, storage security issues, disaster recovery and business continuity, backup strategies for effective restore, data management across networks, and the legal issues around data archiving.