Procurement of cloud hardware may be picking up as enterprises focus on analytics projects, disaster recovery and data storage. While some will turn to public solutions, many will try to streamline on-premises infrastructure or imitate hyperscale operators by implementing redundant industry-standard servers.

A recent TechTarget survey of 1,200 North American IT professionals found that more than half of respondents expect their organizations to increase spending on hardware in 2014. Almost one-third stated that internal and/or external cloud storage would be a deployment priority this year, up from only 18 percent in 2013. Raising capacity will be a primary goal, but enterprises will also focus on streamlining data handling with compression and deduplication technologies.

What’s driving the push for more storage? Respondents were targeting several key areas, with 19 percent citing big data as the top storage priority, followed by 18 percent interested in solid-state media. Virtual desktops and scale-out NAS solutions were also drivers of this expected uptick in storage procurement. Large companies were the most likely to buy storage for data analytics, while interest in SSDs was spread out across the board.

In a separate TechTarget piece, Antony Ashead contrasted how large and small organizations handle big data projects. For hyperscale operators, dealing with big data typically involves in-house hardware setups that facilitate redundancy and fast response times. SMBs may instead leverage NAS solutions that provide scalable parallel handling of many objects.

“[B]ig data storage needs to be able to handle capacity and provide low latency for analytics work,” concluded Ashead. “You can choose to do it like the big boys in hyperscale environments or adopt NAS or object storage in more traditional IT departments to do the job.”

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