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Data Centre Managers Adopt Virtualisation, Server Consolidation; Face Skills Shortage

  • 31 October, 2007 11:21

<p>Global 2000 Enterprises Spend More than US $6.6 Billion Annually to Manage Data Centre Complexity</p>
<p>SYDNEY, Australia– 31 October 2007 – Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced the findings of its worldwide State of the Data Centre Research report, revealing that data centre managers are implementing virtualisation and server consolidation strategies to manage the growing complexities in today’s data centre.</p>
<p>Symantec’s report suggests data centre managers face onerous and complicated challenges resulting from rapidly rising Service Level Agreements (SLAs), staffing difficulties, increasing expenditures and data centre growth.</p>
<p>Pervasive Challenges: Service Level Agreements, Staffing and Growth</p>
<p>Research results suggest the primary challenges for data centre managers are stringent internal service-level agreements, ongoing data centre growth and staffing issues. Budget growth is not keeping pace with data centre growth, while stringent SLAs mean data centres must deliver ever-increasing levels of speed, agility and availability. While increased SLAs may indicate the value IT can deliver to the business, if they are unmet the performance of the business may suffer. According to research results:</p>
<p>• 65 percent of respondents report formal internal SLAs exist in their organisation.
• 32 percent report service-level demands have rapidly increased.
• 51 percent report they’ve had more difficulty meeting service-level demands during the past two-year period.</p>
<p>The research suggests that ongoing data centre challenges such as complexity, heterogeneity and an ongoing skill shortage are driving the difficulty in meeting SLAs. Both qualitative and quantitative research indicate finding qualified IT staff who understand business issues is more problematic than understaffing problems caused by budget constraints.</p>
<p>To add to these challenges, data centre growth is persistent and expected to continue, driving enormous costs. Research shows that Global 2000 enterprises are spending more than US $6.6 billion annually to help manage data centre complexity. According to the research results:</p>
<p>• 52 percent of respondents report their data centres are currently understaffed.
• 69 percent of respondents reveal their data centres are growing at least 5 percent per year, while 11 percent report 20 percent growth or more per year.
• The average reported budget increase during the last two-year period is a modest 7 percent worldwide.
Once adjusted for an average rate of 3 percent inflation, data centre budget growth has been minimal during the past five years. Findings indicate that organisations are forced to spend larger portions of their limited budget to keep the business up and running, as opposed to innovating and adding value to the business.</p>
<p>Server Virtualisation and Consolidation Are Key Cost Containment Strategies</p>
<p>Server virtualisation and consolidation are considered top cost containment strategies for the majority of respondents, particularly in the United States. According to the research results:</p>
<p>• 90 percent of respondents are at least discussing server virtualisation; 50 percent are implementing virtualisation strategies.
• 91 percent are at least discussing server consolidation; 58 percent are implementing consolidation strategies.
• 75 percent of respondents are considering storage virtualisation as a potential solution.
• 59 percent of respondents indicate Web applications are the most likely to be moved into a virtual environment, followed by database management applications, selected by 42 percent of respondents.</p>
<p>As data centre managers increasingly turn to virtualisation to contain costs and manage growth, there is a clear need for tools and technologies to manage both physical and virtual environments in a more consistent and comprehensive manner. These solutions can empower data centre professionals to master the growing complexity of their data centres, and have greater confidence that they can deliver against the aggressive SLAs that have been set for them.</p>
<p>Data Centres Face Pervasive Skills Shortage</p>
<p>Data centre staffing challenges are pervasive among respondents. According to research results:</p>
<p>• 86 percent of respondents have difficulty finding qualified applicants.
• 68 percent report staffing is challenging because data centres are too complex to manage.
• 60 percent believe staff skill sets are too narrow.
• 57 percent indicate that employees’ skills do not match their current needs.</p>
<p>Findings Highlight Need for Standardised Approach to Reduce Complexity</p>
<p>Data Centre managers interviewed echoed the need for standardisation to master data centre complexity and better utilise current resources. Symantec recommends companies standardise on a single layer of infrastructure software that supports all major applications, databases, processors and storage and server hardware platforms, to protect their information and applications, enhance data centre service levels, improve storage and server utilisation, consistently manage physical and virtual environments, and drive down operational cost.</p>
<p>“Today’s data centres face a truly intimidating – and worsening – set of challenges involving SLAs, data growth, staffing challenges and cost, as revealed by our State of the Data Centre report,” said Kris Hagerman, group president, Data Centre Management, Symantec.</p>
<p>“The services delivered by data centre professionals have never been more important to their businesses, but at the same time, they are under relentless pressure to do more with less, and within an environment of maddening complexity. Data centre managers can transform their data centre and manage growing costs and complexity by standardising on a common software infrastructure - a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the respondents we surveyed.”</p>
<p>About Symantec’s State of the Data Centre research</p>
<p>Symantec’s State of the Data Centre report is the result of quantitative and qualitative research conducted in September 2007 by Ziff Davis Enterprise by surveying data centre managers in Global 2000 and large public sector institutions.</p>
<p>The two-pronged study includes an online survey fielded in 14 countries, in-person focus groups in San Francisco, New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, one-on-one telephone interviews in Mumbai and Singapore, and a teleconference focus group in Canada. A total of 71 data centre managers participated in focus groups, while 800 data centre managers completed the online survey.</p>
<p>Research questions focused on data centre costs, staffing, and data centre strategies and technologies. Symantec issued part one of the State of the Data Centre report in May 2007; forthcoming research will focus on energy efficiency in the data centre.</p>
<p>About Symantec</p>
<p>Symantec is a global leader in infrastructure software, enabling businesses and consumers to have confidence in a connected world. The company helps customers protect their infrastructure, information and interactions by delivering software and services that address risks to security, availability, compliance and performance. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in 40 countries. More information is available at</p>
<p>1. With each increasing level of data centre complexity the study showed IT spending rising by 3 percent. We can then attribute 3 percent of the average US$110 million IT budget to complexity (See Symantec State of the Data Centre research report).</p>
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<p>Symantec and the Symantec Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.</p>
<p>Media Contacts:</p>
<p>Debbie Sassine
+61 2 8879 1110</p>
<p>Rachel York
Max Australia
+61 2 9954 3492</p>

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