FRAMINGHAM 2 NOVEMBER 2010 - Data growth is the biggest data center hardware infrastructure challenge for large enterprises, according to a new survey by research firm Gartner Inc.
According to Gartner, 47% of the respondents to a survey conducted over the summer ranked data growth in their top three challenges. With spending returning to more normal levels after a couple of down years because of the economy, 62% said they plan to expand hardware capacity at existing data centers by the end of 2011; 30% plan to build entirely new data centers.
"As the global economy begins to revive in 2010 and organizations start to shift focus to a return to growth, IT organizations will be challenged to support the various growth initiatives," said Naveen Mishra, principal research analyst at Gartner.
Last year, Mishra said, many data center managers were forced to defer infrastructure upgrades and extend technology refresh cycles. As a result, those same managers are now hampered with an aging infrastructure or, in some cases, product obsolescence.
"Vendors wishing to tap into this reopening market should propose infrastructure solutions that are high in efficiency and offer scalability as the demand grows, thus helping the companies to prepare for a return to growth," he said.
The survey took place between June and August and involved IT staffers from 1,004 large enterprises in eight countries. The data from it is available online.
In addition to concerns about data growth, 37% of those surveyed named system performance and scalability as the second biggest challenge for them in the coming year, with 36% citing network congestion and connectivity issues.
"While all the top data center hardware infrastructure challenges impact cost to some degree, data growth is particularly associated with increased costs relative to hardware, software, associated maintenance, administration and services," April Adams, research director at Gartner, said in a statement.
In an e-mail response to Computerworld Adams said data capacity on average in enterprises is growing at 40% to 60% year over year due to a number of factors, including an explosion in unstructured data, such as e-mail and documents that have to be stored due to "regulatory requirements that continue to evolve and change."
Survey respondents chose archiving and data "retirement projects" as their most popular approach to dealing with their data explosion. Sixty-two percent indicated they will invest in data retirement efforts or continue to push ongoing efforts through the end of 2011.
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