Enterprise data center and server consolidation projects generally are not being postponed or permanently shelved due to fallout from the worldwide recession-that's according to the results of a survey of IT decision-makers conducted by Ziff Davis Enterprise, publisher of eWEEK.
In fact, survey respondents in both categories reported data center consolidation and server consolidation projects are proceeding on schedule because they know they will pay off substantially in reduced operation costs. On average, DCC initiatives are 46 percent complete and SC initiatives are 44 percent finished, the survey reported Jan. 29.
This new information dovetails in large part with a December 2008 ZDE report, "Outlook for the 2009 Storage Market: An Online Survey of Ziff Davis Enterprise Storage Buyers," which states the data center sector generally remains unblemished by the economic downturn.
Nonetheless, most data center managers and C-level executives appear to be taking a conservative outlook on the coming year. A healthy number of them are concerned about the possible long-term effects of the recession on consolidation projects-whether prebudgeted or not-realizing that the plug can get pulled at any time.
Thirty-eight percent of those queried believe that such efforts still could be suspended/halted or decreased slightly due to the downturn; 28 percent of server consolidation-project managers believe the same thing.
Reducing Costs Is Goal No. 1
More than three-quarters of the respondents said that reducing infrastructure hardware and software costs is a critical driver in their future data center planning. Nearly all of them indicated that consolidation is highly appreciated for delivering efficiency and simplicity.
IT managers also are well-aware of the potential problems caused by consolidation. About one-third of respondents cited "after-the-fact re-engineering of processes" as a significant issue caused by consolidation. About 25 percent said consolidation has made networks tougher to manage.
Forty-three percent indicated that air conditioning and power management are the most critical areas of concern when an enterprise undergoes a data center consolidation project.
IT managers and CIOs who fret that a server or data center consolidation project might cause problems with application performance probably are worrying for nothing. Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed doing data center consolidations reported little or no negative impact on the company's application performance as a result of the project; 86 percent reported the same thing regarding server consolidation.
About half the respondents in both cases said they see improvement in application performance.
Blade servers continue to replace older, less-dense rack servers at a fast clip. However, about three-quarters of all respondents believe that their inclusion in the data center has little or no effect on virtualization or consolidation projects.