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Asia Pacific data centre virtualisation lags behind US
Virtualisation of data centres in the Asia Pacific and Japan region lags behind the rest of the world despite being key to containing costs, Symantec's worldwide State of the Data Centre Research report has found.

The two-pronged study conducted last month and released today, comprised an online survey 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.  Questions focused on data centre costs, staffing, and data centre strategies and technologies. Of the total, 3 per cent were Australian and New Zealand data centres.

Globally, the survey reports that data centre managers face huge challenges from rapidly rising Service Level Agreements (SLAs), staffing difficulties, increasing expenditures and data centre growth.

Despite that growth, however, managers complained budgets were not increasing at the same rate. For 69 per cent of respondents, data centre growth stood at 5 per cent a year, while 11 per cent reported 20 per cent or more growth per year. However, the average budget increase reported during the last two years stood at just 7 per cent worldwide. These budget constraints contributed to understaffing, which in turn undermined abilities to meet internal and external SLAs.

In the APJ region, 62 per cent of data centre managers said their organisations had SLAs, with 85 per cent saying SLA expectations had increased over the last two years. Thirty eight per cent said they had experienced difficulty meeting those demands in the last two years. As in the rest of the world, APJ data centre managers said the main reason for problems meeting SLA involved difficulty finding qualified staff (71 per cent) or retaining employees (53 per cent).

To combat this, managers are investigating outsourcing with 82 per cent of APJ managers discussing the option and 13 per cent implementing it. Server maintenance, backups, IT service business-continuity, storage management and storage virtualisation are the tasks most outsourced.

Overall, however, virtualisation is not as prevalent in the APJ region as in the Americas. Symantec's Australian-based director of pre-sales, Paul Lancaster, says Australian and New Zealand data centres lag a few years behind the Americas, mainly because of the smaller size of data centres, a greater focus on processes and the perception that tool sets are not yet capable of handling virtualisation when it comes to mission critical functions.

"In the US, the pipes are much larger and the cost of pushing data is cheaper. They have much bigger data centres and consequently bigger budgets. But the main [virtualisation] packages lack disaster recovery tool sets, so data centres here need to employ a third party like Symantec to provide that capability. That reduces the cost benefits of virtualisation."

Lancaster said the average annual budget of data centres included in the APJ survey was US$50 million; the average in the US was $70 million.

He said that instead of virtualisation, local data centres are currently looking more toward server consolidation (88 per cent discussing the option and 31 per cent implementing), while 25 per cent were looking to automation to cut costs over the next 12 months.

Read the original article on mnet, here.

Published Wednesday, October 31, 2007 6:06 AM by David Marshall
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