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News

Medium sized businesses likely to be first adopters of cloud based data centres

Symantec : 12 January, 2010  (Technical Article)
Study from Symantec shows that middle sized firms are ready to take up cloud technology and virtualisation to reduce IT costs this year but have outstanding issues on continuous data protection and disaster recovery
Symantec has released the findings of its 2010 State of the Data Center study. Now in its third year, the study found that mid-sized enterprises (2,000 to 9,999 employees) are more likely to adopt cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing, deduplication, replication, storage virtualisation, 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 1,780 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 center 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:

* 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 percent higher rates than small or large enterprises.

* 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 percent 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 percent of organizations to consider data reduction technologies such as deduplication.

* Security, backup and recovery, and continuous data protection are the most important initiatives in 2010, ahead of virtualisation. Eighty-three percent of enterprises rated security somewhat or absolutely important. Seventy-nine percent said backup and recovery is somewhat/absolutely important and 76 percent rated continuous data protection as one of their top initiatives.

* 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. Seventy-six percent of enterprises have the same or more job requisitions open this year.

* There continues to be room for improvement in disaster recovery. One-third 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 one-third of enterprises haven't re-evaluated their disaster recovery plan in the last 12 months.

* Virtual machine protection continues to be a focus for enterprises, with 82 percent 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.

Recommendations

* 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 center.

* Organisations should deploy Deduplication closer to the information source to eliminate redundant data and reduce storage and network costs.

* 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 Virtualisation and continuous data protection and recovery. Organizations leveraging a holistic approach to storage management can control storage budget growth and often postpone storage purchases.

* 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.

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