Data Growth Now a First-Tier Challenge for Enterprises, Gartner Reports

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-11-01 Print this article Print

Research indicates that data growth, system performance/scalability and network congestion/connectivity are the top three issues for data center managers.

Most people in IT already have read that researchers believe digital business data to be stored is growing at a 40 to 60 percent clip each year.

So it makes sense that this explosion in stored files, logs and other data has become one of biggest challenges to solve for large enterprises.

Gartner Research reported Nov. 1 that nearly half (47 percent) of its survey respondents ranked data growth as one of their three biggest daily challenges. The others are system performance and scalability (37 percent), and network congestion and connectivity architecture (36 percent).

Hardware and software vendors will be glad to know that data center managers are planning to do something about this stored-data surge. Sixty-two percent of respondents reported that they will be investing in data archiving or retirement initiatives by the end of 2011 to address the problem.

A data retirement project is one that examines all archived and backed-up data in a system to make sure it gets deleted from all storage nodes when its expiration date comes up. Projects of this nature can take weeks or months.

In large IT systems, substantial amounts of data often do not get deleted on a regular schedule, despite company policies. This is most often due to multiple backup copies and mirrored systems that get passed over at cleanup time.

All those extra copies take up valuable space on digital disks or tape that can cost the enterprise dearly over time.

Other ways IT managers mitigate data growth

Other high-ranking IT projects that will be employed to address the issue of data growth are data security from internal, external or hacker risk; storage consolidation; storage management tools; and data reduction techniques.

Gartner's research was conducted from June to August 2010 with representatives from 1,004 large enterprises from eight countries.

"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," said Gartner Research Director April Adams.

"Given that cost containment remains a key focus for most organizations, positioning technologies to show that they are tightly linked to cost containment, in addition to their other benefits, is a promising approach."

Countries included in the report "User Survey Analysis: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Data Center Infrastructure Through 2011" were Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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