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CommScope Global Data Centre Survey shows investments during downturn


September 10, 2009
By Anthony Capkun

September 10, 2009

Data centres are increasingly viewed as critical business priorities and, despite the current economic climate, receiving ongoing investments to improve performance and reliability.

According to the new Global Data Centre Survey commissioned by
CommScope (with contributing sponsors Brocade, Eaton and Intel), almost
a third (32%) of all organizations surveyed worldwide are planning or
building new data centres, while more than four out of five (83%)
existing data centres continue to receive investment for infrastructure
and technology projects. In the backdrop of the current economic
environment, almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents were required to
demonstrate a specific return on the investment before their data
centre projects were approved.

More than 730 IT professionals from 54 countries with responsibility
for their organizations’ data centres responded to the Global Data
Centre Survey questions on trends in data centre equipment, design and
future development.

“It is clear that data centres are viewed as mission-critical, and
organizations continue to invest accordingly to ensure quality,
performance and intelligence are successfully supporting business
goals,” said George Brooks, director, Enterprise Data Centres,
CommScope. “Whether it is to stay ahead of technology developments and
new applications or to address cost-efficiency opportunities, data
centre expansions and improvement projects are continuing around the
world, despite the economic downturn.”

Other key findings from the Global Data Centre Survey:

• Globally, 54% of the organizations installing new copper cabling
would invest in Cat 6A 10Gb/s solutions. Airports (86%) and healthcare
(71%) are the business sectors leading the drive toward investment in
Cat 6A 10G copper solutions.

• Of those installing new fiber cabling in their data centre, the shift
to 10G and 40/100G laser-optimized multimode fibers is accelerating,
with data centres installing OM3 at a rate of 31% and OM4 at a rate of
19%.

• Data centres continue to receive investment for power- and
space-saving technologies. They include blade servers that are more
compact and energy-efficient than previous types, and virtualization
that allows more applications to run on each server.

• As additional computing resources are packed into equipment racks,
data centres are moving to higher bandwidth solutions to reduce growth
in cabling volume. Blade servers, again, can decrease cable management
complexity as compared to rack-optimized servers. 30% are already using
new 10Gb/s copper connectivity solutions in the network backbone and a
further 46% plan to do so in the next three years.

• In horizontal network segments, 21% are using 10Gb/s over copper. Another 48% plan to upgrade in the next three years.

The survey shows that the importance of performance and quality in data
centre infrastructure is widely appreciated. More respondents named
performance (62%) and ease-of-maintenance (54%) as influences on their
purchasing decisions than said they were influenced by price (50%).

“Improved data centre performance is an efficiency driver that can help
organizations fight the effects of the recession and be ready for the
upturn,” said Brooks. “Physical layer infrastructure is a focus of
attention since it can quickly become a bottleneck at times of peak
demand. Reliable, affordable 10G and 40/100G solutions will be
important to the ongoing operational and space saving efficiencies of
data centres for years to come. These high-speed infrastructure
connections free space for other equipment and for the flow of cooling
air, which was an issue of concern for more respondents (61%) than any
other.”

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