IT efficiency most improved by managing datacentre complexity

Energy conservation and managing total cost of power the most difficult issue for firms to resolve

An independent survey of IT Executives and IT managers has revealed datacentre power management and virtualisation as firms’ top business alignment priorities.

The survey by operations management firm Avocent aimed to discover the top challenges in aligning IT with business objectives. It showed companies are seeking better visibility into their datacentre operations to help mitigate business continuity challenges, better manage virtualised systems and applications, and control power consumption and overall complexity. 

Energy conservation was the most difficult issue to resolve with companies’ current tools with respondents regarding managing total cost of power as the second most difficult task.

Just over half (55%) of companies measure power usage in their datacentre, primarily at the UPS level and 83% consider the ability to measure power consumption at the entire datacentre level as “valuable” or “extremely valuable.”

A high number of respondents said they had begun to move toward server virtualisation, mainly for its cost reductions and energy savings promised. The top reason for deploying virtual servers was cost savings. Nearly a third had initially looked to virtualisation as a means of decreasing hardware costs and a similar figure implemented server virtualisation for energy-saving goals.

Yet in assessing, virtualisation, companies expressed fears about lost or failed virtual servers. Of those who had rolled out some level of server virtualisation, nearly a quarter had experienced a disappearance of a virtual server from their system and nearly a fifth (18%) had lost a virtual server permanently.

Other key concerns related to managing server virtualisation with 45% having concerns about the lack of expertise that IT personnel had with virtualisation and 44% being concerned that virtual servers could fail from a component failure in a single physical server.

 “Our survey confirms that businesses are indeed challenged most by the need to effectively manage the increased complexity in today’s datacentres, while at the same time keeping networks running smoothly, and power consumption costs down,” said Ben Grimes, Avocent CTO and vice president of corporate strategy

“The findings further tell us that many administrators lack the tools they need to properly manage power usage in datacentres – only 55% say they can monitor power usage today, and even then it’s mostly at the UPS level. These statistics show there’s a huge opportunity to improve overall datacentre management and a strong desire to implement ‘Green IT’ solutions.”   

Survey respondents also said that 100% network uptime was still not there. A third of companies had lost mission-critical data due to unplanned downtime and 43% of companies reported that they experience, on average, up to five unplanned downtime events per month. Of those, 17% experienced two to four hours of collective unplanned downtime per month, mostly due to hardware or power failures.

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