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Survey Shows Results of How COVID-19 Pandemic Has Negatively Affected Data Center Operations

With nearly 80 percent of respondents in a recent survey conducted by StorONE indicating that they have had cuts to their IT budgets. The effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in a negative impact on organizations' ability to manage their storage infrastructures in order to ensure continued access to an increasingly remote workforce and to satisfy health protocols put in place to protect workers.

More than two-thirds of those questioned as part of the StorONE "How Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Data Center?" survey maintain some level of on-premises storage. Because of the pandemic, almost 40 percent of those organizations have had no or critically restricted access to their data centers to address storage hardware failures or increase data protection levels, such as improved drive redundancies or snapshot intervals. Reduced budgets mean that organizations will be unable to offer more performance and capacity to their users or will need to rely on better vendor pricing to supplement their needs.

Among the survey's findings are:

  • 20 percent of organizations have not had any access to their data centers, meaning that any physical hardware failures have had to wait. Another 20 percent have had restricted access to only allow work done in critical instances. The remaining 60 percent have been able to maintain moderate access with established maintenance windows and limited workforces.
  • A third and have been forced to go to the data center to replace drives despite health risks. 12.5 percent of respondents indicated that they have had to live with the risk of data loss due to access issues, while another 12.5 percent have leveraged hot spares for their failed drives.
  • 20 percent of organizations had restricted access to storage systems remotely during the pandemic, with 12 percent experiencing constrained remote administration capabilities due to hardware limitations. Another 12 percent had no remote administration during the pandemic with connections that either failed or were impractical.
  • 33.3 percent of respondents said they had to count on their backup system for improved data protection levels, with 20.8 percent not able to enable any improvements to protection levels and 16.7 percent unable to afford the performance impact required of increased data protection.
  • 16.7 percent of companies cut their IT budgets by more than 50 percent, with 45.8 percent cutting budgets between 10 and 25 percent. 4.2 percent cut budgets between 25 and 50 percent, 16.7 percent cut by as much as 10 percent and 16.7 percent reported no cuts to their IT budget due to Coronavirus.
  • To deal with reduced budgets, 40 percent of organizations are hoping for better pricing from their existing vendors, 30 percent will seek out other vendors that provide lower prices, and 30 percent will stand pat without increasing services to their users.

"While some organizations have been able to weather the storm of this unprecedented event, the negative impacts of COVID-19 on storage infrastructures are already being felt by a large majority of companies throughout the world," said Gal Naor, StorONE co-founder, and CEO. "IT has long been expected to do more with less, but these survey results show that data is being left unprotected and unavailable in many instances due to lack of access to physical hardware or severe budget cuts. Companies cannot afford to risk their data regardless of the current issues at hand. Organizations need to implement a solution that will allow them to take existing servers and storage to create a near-zero additional cost system complete with data-protection services. A storage system with these capabilities ensures mission-critical information is always available, immediately recoverable and remains durable during times of crisis."

StorONE's S1 Enterprise Storage Platform simplifies organizations' storage infrastructures while providing a solution that meets all the software-defined storage objectives. StorONE's suite of data protection services - S1:DirectWrite, S1:vRAID, S1:Snap and S1:Replicate - makes storage invincible by ensuring organizations can not only recover their information quickly but can also retain data indefinitely without impacting performance. This combination of services delivers unprecedented protection from data loss, no matter the threat.

StorONE makes it easy to get an enterprise-class storage infrastructure up and running quickly, while at the same time reducing storage spend. Because the S1 Enterprise Storage Platform's software is simple to install, StorONE engineers can guide customers through installation remotely via web conferencing services such as Skype, WebEx, and Zoom, to maintain a social distancing-compliant installation. Many customers can complete the installation themselves simply by following StorONE's Quick Start Guide.

The survey is still available for input at https://www.storone.com/how-has-covid-19-impacted-your-data-center/. Naor and former storage analyst, now StorONE's CMO George Crump, are conducting a live webinar " 5 Steps to Seamless Storage Operations During a Pandemic" to provide the results of the survey and guidance on how to protect your storage infrastructure from future pandemics. You can register for the event at: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/5583/426935

All pre-registrants will receive an advance copy of Naor's latest whitepaper "10 Recommendations for Storage Managers to Prepare for Future Pandemics"

Published Tuesday, July 28, 2020 10:01 AM by David Marshall
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