Enterprises Boost Investment in Data Centers

Organizations surveyed cited Schneider Electric as their preferred provider in four out of seven facilities equipment and software categories.

data centers and 451

Despite increased investment in services from cloud and co-location providers, 87 percent of data center operators surveyed from North America and Europe are maintaining or increasing their data center facility spending, with 25 percent expecting to increase spending over the next 90 days.

The 451 Research report is derived from 1,240 Web-based surveys and 26 hour-long interviews with senior IT professionals.

The survey found organizations continue to consolidate their local data centers and server rooms in favor of a more centralized model supplemented by co-location and cloud resources.

Over the next two years, most organizations expect to close many of their smaller local data centers and server rooms, indicating a continued trend toward fewer overall data center sites.

"It’s a combination of a lot of factors driven by a large increase in the amount of data being stored, whether it is digitization of medical records or to comply with new regulations that require data to be held and immediately accessible for longer periods of time," Dan Harrington, research director at 451 Research, told eWEEK. "Additionally, these industries are the least likely to adopt cloud or co-location resources because of security and compliance concerns. Therefore, they are more likely to maintain and run their own facilities versus outsource."

Organizations surveyed cited Schneider Electric as their preferred provider in four out of seven facilities equipment and software categories, including universal power supplies (UPS), power distribution units (PDU), racks and cabling, and DCIM.

Emerson Network Power follows closely in many categories and is the number one preferred computer room air conditioning and air handling equipment provider.

"Schneider is well penetrated across product categories and organization sizes," Harrington explained. "The history and strength of the APC brand has served them well as most respondents stated they were satisfied with the reliability of their products. We will be conducting a vendor window next quarter to dive deeper into how respondents evaluate these vendors."

Of those organizations increasing spending, 37 percent are doing so to support data center retrofits or upgrade projects. The study also indicated existing data centers will need to be upgraded, considering that 62 percent of organizations would rather consolidate their IT infrastructure than build a new data center.

"Consolidation has been happening for quite a while. Of course, cost is always a big driver as IT teams can run things more efficiently in a centralized location where they can consolidate IT infrastructure and manage resources with greater ease than in many distributed locations," Harrington said. "What goes along with that is also more control over what is happening with the data and resources living at those remote sites."

Harrington explained a central model allows more visibility and control of that information.

"I do see this as a continued trend, although with the emergence of a large amount of data at the edge driven by big data and the Internet of Things, we may see a renewed need for local compute in the future," he said.