A noted data center industry association reported Dec. 23 in a survey of IT managers that nearly two-thirds will see their IT budgets stay the same or even increase in 2009, and that the remaining one-third will lose only about 15 percent of their budgets.
That ought to serve as some relatively good news in this downtrodden macroeconomy.
Of the cuts that will be made in data center budgets in 2009, only about 14 percent of the already small percentage of cuts will involve staff layoffs, AFCOM reported.
More than half-about 53 percent-of the cuts will entail staff travel and education expenses, which is not good news for the conference business. However, 38 percent of the cuts will affect IT and support equipment purchases, including servers, switches, power and cooling, and other hardware.
The survey was taken last month by AFCOM, which bills itself as the “largest industry association for data center management in the world.”
The Orange, Calif.-based association, which includes all the major IT hardware, networking and facilities providers, has staged two Data Center World conferences per year in the United States since 1981. It also publishes Data Center magazine.
Virtualization: A Key Contributor to Budgets in 2009
Another of the highlights of this research: 86 percent of the survey’s respondents believe that the increased use of virtualization will reduce the need for new physical servers in 2009.
That’s not great news for the server makers, although it’s hardly a surprise to them.
“This [high percentage] may not seem all that surprising, considering that virtualization really went big time into data center production use in 2008,” said Jill Eckhaus, CEO of AFCOM. “But [the high 86 percent number] is a bit surprising to me because, although AFCOM has been putting virtualization into all our education for our members, it didn’t seem as if they were all that interested at first.
“But now they are. For the people who have to cut their budgets, one of the big things they’re cutting is equipment, so virtualization can really help them in making a more efficient data center.”
Strong Disk Storage Sales a Major Booster
Disk storage, sales of which continue to spiral upward, is a key factor in maintaining data center growth.
Researcher IDC reported this month that third-quarter factory revenues posted solid growth of 8.8 percent year over year, totaling $4.9 billion in the quarter. The total disk storage systems market grew to $6.6 billion in revenues, up 1.1 percent from the same period a year ago. Total disk storage systems capacity shipped reached 2,170 petabytes-which is a whopping growth of 41.7 percent.
Originally, AFCOM was the acronym for the Association for Computer Operations Management. Now it’s simply branded as AFCOM. Founded in 1980, it claims to be the only association “dedicated to providing education and resources for data center managers.”
Its espoused mission is to “enable data center management professionals to share industry best practices by providing a forum for dissemination of critical information; to provide education on key data center management issues; to provide the industry’s most comprehensive insight and analysis in key areas affecting all data-intensive organizations; and to be the most comprehensive and effective resource available to the overall data center community.”
The report, “The Current Economy and Its Impact on the Data Center,” contains responses from IT managers representing 133 large-scale data centers worldwide. They were received during the six-day period from Nov. 18, 2008, to Nov. 24, 2008.
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