Data center issues hampering business strategy
By Digital News Asia November 20, 2012
- 85% of organizations say issues with data center power, space and cooling capacity has had a negative impact on business
- 57% of respondents admit that their data centres are either 'inefficient' or only 'moderately efficient'
NEARLY 85% of organizations say that issues with data center power, space and cooling capacity — as well as asset and uptime issues — has had a negative impact on business, according to a new study by IDC.
These issues have resulted in delayed or aborted application rollouts, reduced ability to support customers, and have caused unplanned reallocation of opex (operating expenditure) and capex (capital expenditure) budgets away from strategic goals during the past year.
According to Richard Villars, vice president of Data Center and Cloud at IDC and author of the study, these issues reduce IT's ability to support business innovation and get maximum business value from IT hardware and software investments.
“Organizations are spending hundreds of billions of dollars each year on the infrastructure deployed in their data centers, and even more on power and cooling plus IT and Facilities support staff to ensure that current and new applications are highly available,” said Villars.
“They must ensure this investment is being spent efficiently and effectively, and support the business' overall goals of delivering innovative new products and services,” he added.
However, data center infrastructure issues are significantly undermining the business value returned by these investments.
Specific issues cited by the 84% of respondents whose data center infrastructure is under-performing include power (27%), space (27%) and cooling (25%) — as well as imbalances in capacity across multiple sites.
The study also revealed the most common reasons things go awry in the data center. These include:
- Outdated data centers: 57% of respondents admit that their data centers are either “inefficient” or only “moderately efficient.”
- Fragmented data center operations: Because IT and facilities staff manage different aspects of data center operations, organizations are not able to implement coherent processes, policies or metrics.
- Inconsistent data center information: Without clear visibility into key data center infrastructure metrics, decision-makers can't accurately plan capacity, pro-actively discover potential problems, or optimize allocation of resources such as power, cooling, network connectivity, rack and floor space.
According to IDC, the study highlights the fact that data center management tools are often manual and fragmented. It also suggests that a more unified approach to Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) can empower organizations to get more value from their existing data center investments and better support IT-based business innovation.
Villars said IT and Facilities must work together to deliver the innovation that C-level management is demanding.
“To help achieve this, organizations should look to implement a DCIM solution that takes a unified approach to management across all aspects of the data center,” he added.
More than half of the data center managers surveyed said there would be value in having an integrated DCIM solution. Respondents' priorities for a DCIM solution included:
- Real-time monitoring of power, temperature and other variables;
- Alerts and alarms for power and cooling;
- Inventory and asset management; and
- Capacity analysis and planning.
Manivannan Govindan, director of Cloud, Virtualisation and Service Automation, Asia South for CA Technologies said data centers present major challenges for organisations today, and these can have impacts on the business.
“Conventional approaches often make it difficult to monitor and manage data center space, power, cooling and assets effectively. DCIM addresses these challenges and helps organizations to leverage data center infrastructure for higher efficiency, reduced risk and the increased agility needed to address expanding business demands,” he added.
More than 500 IT and facilities professionals at midsized and large organizations in North America, Western Europe, and Latin America participated in the study, entitled “The Data Center’s Role in Delivering Business Innovation: Using DCIM to Provide a Common Management Approach,” which was sponsored by CA Technologies.