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Data Centres Resurging As Aust. Organisations Seek Lower Costs, More Control And Improved Data Protection: StorageTek Survey

  • 02 March, 2004 17:18

<p>~ Australian Organisations -- Facing Rapid Storage Growth and Static or Declining Storage Budgets -- Are Planning or Considering Data Centre Consolidation or Relocation ~</p>
<p>SYDNEY Australia, March 2, 2004 -- Medium and large Australian organisations are planning or considering consolidating or relocating more server and storage infrastructure into a data centre, according to a new survey conducted by StorageTek® (Storage Technology Corp., NYSE:STK), the data storage solutions expert.</p>
<p>The survey found that organisations are seeking to reduce costs, gain better operational control and improve data protection by consolidating or relocating data centres, with most organisations also facing rapidly growing storage requirements and static or declining storage budgets.</p>
<p>"Server and storage consolidation is being driven by the need for better management of the IT environment," said Philip Belcher, Managing Director for StorageTek Australia / New Zealand. "Almost all organisations are experiencing data storage growth in 2004, with the vast majority having to accommodate this within a static or shrinking storage budget. Like last year, organisations have to find ways to store more for less."</p>
<p>"This makes 'The Data Centre is Back!', the topic of StorageTek's first 'Let's Talk' breakfast briefing for 2004, very timely," said Mr Belcher. "Consolidation and relocation of IT infrastructure is not simple, which is why StorageTek offers services to assess, design and manage the process."</p>
<p>The survey found that more than seven in ten medium and large Australian organisations were either planning (32.3% of respondents) or considering (38.5%) consolidating or relocating more server and storage infrastructure into a data centre. Fewer than three in ten (29.2%) said they were not doing any more consolidating or relocating of data centres.</p>
<p>When asked about the major considerations driving the trend (marking up to 3 from a list of 10) 'Reduced costs' (chosen by 68.2%) and 'better operational control' (cited by 65.1%) were each drivers for consolidation or relocation at around two-thirds of organisations surveyed. 'Improved data protection' was nominated as a driver by more than half (53.1%) of organisations surveyed.</p>
<p>'Floorspace savings' was a major consideration at around one fifth (21.9%) of organisations and 'Locating IT infrastructure away from the business (risk minimisation)' was a driver at one in seven (14.6%). 'Availability of more suitable location' (9.9%), 'auditor requirement' (5.2%), 'business merger' (4.2%), 'business relocating' (3.6%) and 'other' (1.6%) were each drivers for consolidation or relocation at fewer than one in ten organisations.</p>
<p>"The reality of IT disasters and the risk posed by inadequate business continuity plans have sunk in -- organisations are realising that these are better managed in a data centre environment," said Mr Belcher. "Additionally, the huge increase in storage and proliferation of servers needs to be controlled from a cost management perspective, and centralising can bring about economies of scale in hardware, software and operational costs. Most importantly, the data centre environment allows trained IT staff to manage the IT equipment."</p>
<p>Most medium and large organisations surveyed housed most of their data storage within their data centres. When asked what proportion of their data storage resides in a data centre environment, nearly three-quarters of respondents said either 'around 80%' (17.8% of respondents) or 'most of it' (55.8%). Fewer than three in ten organisations stored 50% or less in their data centres. Around one in seven (13.7%) said the proportion was 'about 50%', with relatively few saying 'about 25%' (4.6%) or 'hardly any' (8.1%).</p>
<p>When it came to mission critical servers and storage infrastructure, around six in ten (59.7%) organisations surveyed said all resided in a data centre. Another quarter (25.9%) said 'around 80%' were in a data centre. Only around one in seven (14.5%) organisations had 50% or less of their mission critical servers and storage infrastructure in a data centre, comprising those who said the figure was 'about 50%' (6.0%), 'about 25%' (1.0%) or who said all such systems resided in business areas (7.5%).</p>
<p>"It's a serious concern that four in ten organisations surveyed had at least some of their mission critical servers or storage outside a data centre," said Mr Belcher. "Research has shown that the most common causes of major down-time are not earth shattering events like earthquake and fire but mundane things like power failure, storm damage and flooding from burst pipes. And most data is lost, not from disaster or virus attack but from human error, software failure or device failure. Data centres allow organisations to do a better job of managing these risks."</p>
<p>"However, not just any data centre will do," said David Cowell, StorageTek's Principal Consultant for Data Centre Services. "IT managers expect redundancy in their IT infrastructure, such as dual power supplies and dual CPUs in servers, but don't always extend this same thinking to the environment in which the infrastructure resides. A quality data centre can withstand environmental issues such as power and air conditioning failure. To achieve high availability, redundancy and automatic failover of data centre services must be considered in the data centre selection and design."</p>
<p>The survey revealed that overall storage requirements are growing rapidly. Almost all (91.2%) organisations surveyed had storage requirements growing at around 25% per year or more, with nearly half (48.8%) growing at around 50% per year or more. Nearly a fifth (18%) had storage requirements doubling (14.6%) or more than doubling (3.4%) year on year. More than four in ten (43.4%) organisations were experiencing storage growth of around 25% per annum. Fewer than one in ten (8.8%) had stable storage requirements.</p>
<p>At the same time, budgets remain under pressure, with nearly three-quarters (74%) of organisations reporting static or shrinking amounts allocated to storage. Six in ten (59.7%) organisations surveyed said this year's storage budgets were around the same as last year's, with around one in seven (14.3%) experiencing a budget cut. Around one quarter (26.0%) of organisations had bigger storage budgets this year.</p>
<p>The survey was completed in February this year by personnel responsible for data storage or data centres in 138 medium and large Australian organisations registering for StorageTek's "Let's Talk about . . . The Data Centre is Back!" breakfast storage briefings in Brisbane 26 Feb, Sydney 2 Mar, Melbourne 3 Mar, Canberra 4 Mar and Perth 9 Mar. Topics covered include:</p>
<p>* Data centre trends and considerations;
* Establishing and maintaining the right location; and
* How to go about a relocation or consolidation.</p>
<p>According to StorageTek, many organisations today are revising data centre strategies to meet evolving business objectives. New strategies may include consolidation, relocation, migration, expansion, and review of IT infrastructure, in order to optimise resources, lower operational costs/budgets and improve business operations.</p>
<p>With StorageTek's Data Centre Services, major data centre projects can be completed on time, within budget and with the least amount of disruption. StorageTek leverages more than 30 years of industry experience and relationships with leading technology companies worldwide to bring the right people, skills and experience to each project.</p>
<p>ABOUT STORAGETEK
StorageTek is a $US2 billion global company that enables businesses, through its information lifecycle management strategy, to align the cost of storage with the value of information. The company's innovative storage solutions manage the complexity and growth of information, lower costs, improve efficiency and protect investments. For more information, see www.storagetek.com.</p>
<p>###</p>
<p>TRADEMARKS: StorageTek and the StorageTek logo are registered trademarks of Storage Technology Corporation. Other names mentioned may be trademarks of Storage Technology Corporation or other vendors/manufacturers.</p>
<p>Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain statements, projections and forecasts regarding StorageTek's future business plans, financial results, products and performance that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," and "believes." There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially.
Some of these risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, StorageTek's ability to develop, manufacture and market new products and services successfully; the effect of product mix and distribution channel mix on our gross margins; our ability to execute our Information Lifecycle Management strategy; competitive pricing pressures; rapid technological changes in the markets in which we compete; our ability to attract and retain highly skilled employees; changes in our management; our ability to protect and develop intellectual property rights; our reliance on certain sole source suppliers; our ability to obtain quality parts and components in a timely manner; general economic conditions in the United States and globally; and other risks described in StorageTek's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K that are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and which are available on the SEC's website.</p>
<p>MEDIA CONTACT:
Chris Bowes
Bowes Communications
+61 (0)2 9387 2332
cbowes@ozemail.com.au</p>

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