More than a year after the global recession came roaring in and battered their IT budgets, data center managers are hoping to get at least some money back in 2010, according to IT professionals and analysts. They're also looking at technologies:from virtualization and cloud computing to Cisco's UCS and Intel's "Nehalem EX" that will save some money on capital and operating expenses and spare some of the bottom line.
With the global recession in full swing for much of 2009, data center
managers saw their IT budgets shredded while the demand for services only grew.
Given that, it's no surprise that when data center professionals look to
2010, at the top of their wish list is money-not only money for their budgets,
but also for technologies that will help them save money on the bottom line.
"They're hoping to see budgets again in 2010," said Roger Kay, an analyst
with Endpoint Technologies Associates. "Some dough is what they'd like. They're
all for refreshing clients now that [Microsoft's Windows 7] is here, and
generally shortening the average system life, but [they] have been severely
constrained this year."
Bob Gill, an analyst with TheInfoPro, said that in surveys of IT
professionals, he's finding the same thing. They need money.
"Money is an issue," Gill said. "People are saying, -I want my budget
That won't be easy. According to research firm Gartner, worldwide IT
spending dropped about 5.2 percent in 2009, with enterprise spending declining
6.9 percent. And while IT spending in 2010 is expected to grow 3.3 percent, to
about $3.3 trillion, more than 50 percent of CIOs expect their budgets to
remain flat or to decline.
For more information about how the data center could change in 2010, please click here.
So while money might be high on the wish list for data center administrators
going into 2010, many of the other items seem to be technologies that help save
on capital or operational expenses. If you can't grow your budget, you might as
well try to lessen the pressure on what you have.
High on the wish list are virtualization and cloud computing-both the
products offered in these areas and the tools needed to make them work well.
Gill said that IT professionals in his surveys say they are interested in both
vSphere 4, VMware's newest-generation virtualization platform, and Microsoft's
Hyper-V virtualization technology. That dovetails with a survey TheInfoPro
conducted this year that found that while VMware is still the dominant
virtualization technology vendor in the data center, a growing number of users
other offerings, in particular Hyper-V and Citrix Systems'
They're also looking for tools that make it easier to manage their virtual
environments. For Jevin Jensen, senior director of IS technical services at
Mohawk Industries, that would mean better disaster recovery capabilities of
virtual servers in the cloud.
"Most of the cloud vendors require you to use their -golden image' for the
virtual machine, don't support spanning our internal VLANs, and/or don't have
the same SAN [storage-area network]
vendor/mirroring software we use," Jensen said in an e-mail. "These all limit
the usefulness of doing real-time disaster recovery at this time. Hopefully
that will change later in 2010."
IDC analyst Matt Eastwood said data
center administrators also are looking for better integrated management tools. And
Endpoint's Kay said integration in virtualized environments is key.
"Virtualization is all well and good, but they'd like to see it fully
integrated with servers, storage and networking resources fully abstracted and
unified," he said.
The growth in the use of virtualization in 2009-at the expense of buying
hardware-highlights the desire of data center managers to grow their budgets
again, TheInfoPro's Gill said.
"They were forced into virtualizing things they were not ready to virtualize
because of the economic situation," he said. "But if they had the money, they'd
definitely go out and buy hardware, so that illustrates their desire to get
their budgets back."
They're also anxious to see a cloud computing environment that they're
comfortable with, "where they can begin to experiment with which things can
safely be run outside the firewall," Kay said.