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Top 5 Data Centre Recommendations for 2010


January 11, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

11 January 2010

Symantec Corp.’s 2010 State of the Data Centre study shows mid-sized enterprises (2000 to 9999 employees) are more likely to adopt cutting-edge technologies (i.e. cloud computing, deduplication, replication, storage virtualization and continuous data protection) than small or large enterprises to reduce IT costs and manage increasing complexity.

Further, mid-sized enterprise data centres show more activity, with
more IT managers predicting major changes to the data centre and new
applications in 2010. Mid-sized enterprises also place a higher
importance on staffing and training than their small or large
enterprise counterparts. The study is based on surveys of 1780 data
centre managers in 26 countries in November 2009.

“Although mid-sized enterprises tend to evaluate and adopt new
technologies at a faster rate than larger organizations, they still
face similar data centre complexities that are compounded by adopting
new initiatives,” said Deepak Mohan, senior vice-president, Information
Management Group at Symantec. “Standardizing on cross-platform
solutions that can manage new technologies and automate processes will
drive immediate cost reduction and make their jobs easier in the long
run.”

Study highlights
1. Mid-sized enterprises are more aggressive and pioneering than either
small or large enterprises. They are adopting new technology
initiatives such as cloud computing, replication, and deduplication at
11-17% higher rates than small or large enterprises.

2. Top data centre concerns include increased complexity and too many
applications. Most enterprises have 10 or more data centre initiatives
rated as somewhat or absolutely important and 50% expect “significant”
changes to their data centres in 2010. Half of all enterprises say
applications are growing somewhat/quickly and half are finding it
difficult and costly to meet service level agreements (SLAs). One-third
of all enterprises say staff productivity is hampered by too many
applications. Adding to the complexity is the continued increase in
data causing 71% of organizations to consider data reduction
technologies such as deduplication.

3. Security, backup and recovery, and continuous data protection are
the most important initiatives in 2010—ahead of virtualization. 83% of
enterprises rated security somewhat or absolutely important. 79% said
backup and recovery is somewhat/absolutely important and 76% rated
continuous data protection as one of their top initiatives.

4. Staffing and budgets remain tight, with half of all enterprises
reporting they are somewhat/extremely understaffed. Finding budget and
qualified applicants are the biggest recruiting issues. 76% of
enterprises have the same or more job requisitions open this year.

5. There continues to be room for improvement in disaster recovery. 1/3
of disaster recovery plans are undocumented or need work, and important
IT components—such as cloud computing, remote office and virtual
servers—are often not included. Compounding the issue, almost 1/3 of
enterprises haven’t re-evaluated their disaster recovery plan in the
last 12 months.

6. Virtual machine protection continues to be a focus for enterprises,
with 82% of enterprises considering virtual-machine technologies in
2010. Respondents cited granular recovery within virtual machine images
as the biggest challenge in virtual machine data protection.


Study recommendations

1. Software that supports heterogeneous environments and eliminates
islands of information is particularly important for mid-sized
enterprises that are aggressively adopting new technologies because
they can reduce complexity in the data centre.

2. Organizations should deploy deduplication closer to the information
source to eliminate redundant data and reduce storage and network costs.

3. Data centre administrators need to manage storage across
heterogeneous server and storage environments in a way that enables
them to stop buying storage by leveraging new technology adoption, such
as storage resource management, thin provisioning, deduplication,
storage virtualization and continuous data protection and recovery.
Organizations leveraging a holistic approach to storage management can
control storage budget growth and often postpone storage purchases.

4. Disaster recovery testing is invaluable, but can significantly
impact business. Enterprises should seek to improve the success of
testing by evaluating and implementing testing methods which are
non-disruptive.

5. Organizations should deploy a single, unified platform for physical
and virtual machine protection to simplify information management.

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