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IDC: CIO’s Still Not Implementing Optimum Datacenter Management Practices

March 2010 by IDC

`Despite the recession, large European organizations still expect their spending on staff working on datacenter management to grow by 10% over the next year, approximately nine-times the expected growth in IT spending in 2010.

The range of approaches used within datacenters is driving the higher spend on management. International Data Corporation’s (IDC) research shows that:

· 25% of organizations are still managing their servers and storage manually, leading to much higher costs compared with organizations that are using some tools. Only 14% of organizations have a fully integrated management framework.

· The industry needs to assist CIOs in showing how to benefit from improved management. Only 30% of companies see datacenter operational cost as a priority, with 25% concerned specifically about software license costs.

· Suppliers need to package their approach to meet different needs as organizations are divided on the best way to approach their datacenter management. 58% are looking for modular solutions and 42% prefer an integrated approach.

· The rapid growth of virtualization has changed the nature of management, with diverse challenges created. Overall, the prime concern is being able to integrate server, storage, and network management, cited by 31% of respondents. However, there are many complexities; for example, larger datacenters are more concerned with unifying their physical and virtual management and smaller sites are finding integrating different virtualization technologies into a single management strategy to be essential.

· The market for virtualization management is wide open, with 52% of organizations relying on their virtualization provider, 32% using their systems vendor to manage their virtual environment, and 16% looking at management suite suppliers.

· The promise of datacenter automation to reduce the cost of the datacenter and improve alignment with business goals is recognized by 69% of organizations. Although cost is the main factor, improving security by reducing errors is the second most commonly mentioned reason for using datacenter automation.

Commenting on these results, Chris Ingle, Associate Vice President, Consulting, at IDC said: "European organizations have moved on in their approach to managing their datacenter, compared to when we last surveyed on this subject in 2006. In particular, virtualization and automation have brought ways to reduce cost and free up resources. However, there is still considerable potential to reduce cost by improving management."

Justifying investment in improving management is a challenge, Nathaniel Martinez, Program Director in IDC’s Systems and Infrastructure group commented: "Datacenter managers are much more concerned with finding suppliers that can address the security and availability problems they are experiencing than with ensuring that their datacenter meets the requirements of their business. IDC believes that CIOs need to both reduce their operational cost in the datacenter and, importantly, show a stronger plan for how investment in the datacenter contributes to business success."

Virtualization changes both what is being managed in the datacenter and how it is managed, Giorgio Nebuloni, Research Analyst in IDC’s Systems and Infrastructure group added: "CIOs are grappling with the consequences of virtualization. While the benefits are clear, the impact on management is proving to be a challenge, new models for management will be needed to ensure that virtualization continues to contribute positively to the datacenter."

IDC’s presentation, Improving Management of the Datacenter: IDC European Datacenter Management Survey 2010 Study Summary (IDC #GE53S, March 2010), summarizes the main findings of our 2010 datacenter survey. The presentation includes analysis of subjects such as approaches to managing the datacenter, how the cost of management varies by chosen management strategy, how virtualization is affecting datacenter management, and the benefits of automating the datacenter.

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