Data Center Consolidation Top Priority in 2011: Survey

A survey asks individuals to rank which projects on their 2011 IT road map are expected to be the most challenging.

Fifty-one percent of data center managers and decision makers at large organizations see technology refreshes as the top data center priority for 2011, according to a survey from IT infrastructure specialist SANpulse. This finding highlights the fact that mean time to migrate (MTTM) is critical for rapid adoption of new technologies and fast execution of these operations.

Next in importance is data center consolidation, which 41.5 percent of respondents indicated is a top concern. Thirty-four percent of respondents indicated the intent to migrate to a public or private cloud, while 32.7 percent expected to transition to a virtualized storage area network (SAN) and 26.5 percent said that SAN optimization or retiering is a priority. Twenty-one percent cited diversification of storage hardware as a top priority.

The survey also asked participants to rank which projects on their 2011 IT road map are expected to be the most challenging and difficult to deal with. Thirty-nine percent responded that multidepartmental coordination is a top concern. Thirty-five percent said server remediation, SAN configuration errors, asset discovery and multidepartmental coordination are all challenging issues.

On the topic of SAN migrations and whether or not these activities were completed in a timely manner and met budgetary requirements, 41.5 percent of the respondents said that only 0 to 20 percent of their migrations were completed on time and on budget. Sixty-two percent said that 40 percent or fewer migrations completed on time and within budget. Finally, 79 percent have had less than 60 percent of their migrations meet their budgetary/time requirements.

"These results echo what is routinely heard from IT professionals who face these recurring challenges," said Greg Schulz, founder of the Server and StorageIO Group. "There is no such thing as a data or information recession. This means that as IT budgets for some expand, those organizations also need to do more with what they have, including support growth and technology refreshes in 2011."

Schulz also noted that IT organizations focus much of their staff as well as wall or calendar time on data migrations to support technology refreshes and upgrades along with consolidation initiatives.

"With the complexities associated with large-scale migration or technology updates, not to mention multidepartmental workflow coordination, IT organizations stand to recover these resources by reducing their mean time to migrate," he said. "Many large IT organizations have already implemented phased refresh schedules where each year a portion of their technology gets refreshed. However, budgets or spending remain constrained."