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Data centre growth drives consolidated protection development.

Symantec : 15 May, 2007  (Technical Article)
Research by Symantec uncovers increasing demand for unified solutions to data protection with the rapid growth in complex European data centres.
Symantec has revealed the findings of its annual State of the Data Centre report, indicating that data centres are becoming increasingly complex across EMEA, due to the growing volume of servers, applications and operating systems. This has driven over half of the EMEA respondents to consider consolidation of the tools or solutions that they use, despite the fact that almost all (93 per cent) are concerned about controlling their costs.

Meanwhile, 86 per cent of EMEA respondents cite an increase in the number of servers and applications as factors contributing to complexity in the data centre. This is in addition to the 80 percent of respondents who cited an increase in the number of management tools employed and the 71 percent that pointed to an increase in the number of operating systems in their environment as causes for complexity in their data centres.

The worldwide report surveyed over 500 enterprises across the world, of which 167 came from EMEA. Some additional notable EMEA statistics include:

* The majority of respondents (52%) want to consolidate the tools/solutions that are currently in use
* About half of respondents say that IT professionals struggle with the complexity of the data centre: 49 percent of respondents cited human error as contributing significantly to the cause of unplanned downtime in the data centre
* 80 percent of respondents cited an increase in the number of management tools as at least a somewhat if not significant challenge
* The average number of server and application management tools cited by respondents was 11.62
* 86 percent of respondents say that the increase in the number of servers is one of the biggest challenges to managing corporate data centres
* 74 percent of respondents say that the decrease in headcount is one of the biggest challenges to managing corporate data centres
* 93 percent of respondents are concerned about controlling costs; and cost is listed as the second-most important consideration when consolidating technologies
* Seeking to standardise processes to reduce complexity, only 98 percent of respondents indicated they had plans to implement ITIL/ITSM
* Disk is now the most popular method of backing up data with 57 percent of respondents using disk and 43 percent using tape.

In order to ease the issue of complexity, Symantec would recommend that companies standardise on a single layer of software infrastructure across their entire data centre, in order to also protect information and applications, improve manageability and control of cross-platform storage and server assets, and drive down operational cost. By standardising on a common software infrastructure, enterprises will then be able to replace dozens of different tools, enabling protection and availability of critical information and applications, improved utilisation of storage and server hardware assets, and enhanced visibility and control of complex data centre environments.
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