IT directors must reclaim datacentres

Consolidation of IT infrastructure must be a major ongoing focus for IT directors, according to Gartner.

Consolidation of IT infrastructure must be a major ongoing focus for IT directors, according to Gartner.

Delegates in Barcelona will be urged to get a grip of their infrastructure, which for most enterprises has become more sprawling and difficult to manage in recent years.

Users have purchased more IT server capacity than they have actually needed to cope with peak usage, Gartner said.

The analyst firm estimated that typical server utilisation in a datacentre runs at only 15%. This is the equivalent to a user purchasing £100,000 worth of servers but only using £15,000 of equipment.

IT directors have populated their datacentres with application-specific servers over the past six years, said Roger Fulton, vice president of research at Gartner.

"The difficulty that most IT managers now face is a growing level of chaos within their IT infrastructure," he said.

"In the datacentre you have stacks of servers. Each one supports an application and they are loosely networked together. The problem for IT directors is keeping the whole system integrated and being able to fully utilise its capacity."

The propagation of such application-specific servers has created what Gartner described as a "loosely connected infrastructure".

Utility computing, in which users are charged only for the resources they use, is one way for organisations to get better value from their IT, said Fulton

However, he predicted that it will be several years before IT directors will be able to use the right tools and software to treat their networks of data-centre servers as a single network and enable greater server utilisation.

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