Most IT organizations are familiar with virtualization, yet many struggle with storage performance and cost issues. A new survey of 477 IT professionals conducted by Datacore Software, a provider of storage virtualization software, finds that 42 percent have problems with storage performance and costs. Additionally, 51 percent report that their storage budgets remained the same year-over-year, while 20 percent said they were reduced. Only 30 percent said their storage budgets grew in 2013. At the same time, 52 percent said storage now accounts for more than 25 percent of their virtualization budget. Putting all these numbers together highlights an opportunity for the channel in the form of helping IT organizations identify ways to manage storage more efficiently at a time when costs are rising and new initiatives involving big data are just getting off the ground. Among those opportunities are the emergence of flash storage and solid-state drives (SSDs), which the survey finds has seen limited adoption, and cloud storage, which is another much-hyped technology that has yet to see broad adoption. In both cases, adoption seems inevitable once channel partners show customers how it can be done cost effectively. Here are key takeaways from the study.