Enterprises bringing data back in-house for more flexibility, shows study

European enterprises are improving their internal datacentres and storing data in-house rather than on the external cloud

As big data becomes a reality, European enterprises are improving their internal datacentres and storing data in-house rather than on the external cloud to have more control over their business information, according to Oracle's Next Generation Datacentre Index survey. 

The study, conducted by datacentre analyst firm Quocirca, found that the number of respondents using only in-house datacentre facilities has risen from 45% in the last survey to 66% now.

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Meanwhile, the proportion of businesses with a mix of in-house and external facilities dropped from 56% to 34%.

When businesses were caught off-guard by the big data explosion last year, they started looking at cloud computing and third-party datacentres. But as they began feeling the importance of data ownership and the ability to move the data workloads from one system to another easily, they started investing in their in-house facilities, said John Abel, EMEA hardware engineered systems product leader at Oracle.

The percentage of organisations saying they will need a new datacentre in the next 12 months also increased from 22% to 26% suggesting businesses do not foresee an end to the current data boom, but want to be in full control of their data.

Big data bounce

Last year’s Next Generation Datacentre Index showed that the use of external, third-party datacentres had risen as businesses were taken by surprise by big data trends.

The “big data bounce” highlights the increased value of data and the importance for businesses to be able to move data between public and private cloud as easily as possible, the analyst firm added.

The last survey was carried out at a time when businesses were considering cloud computing for development, test and piloting, said Clive Longbottom, datacentre analyst at Quocirca. 

“This study has been carried when cloud is becoming more mainstream, and many of the pilots are now becoming full run-time projects," Longbottom said. "It seems that many of these have been brought back in-house onto private cloud platforms – and that this has resulted in a rationalisation of facility usage."

“However, many decisions around the datacentre are being made tactically – and this could impact the more strategic capabilities of the owning organisation in the longer term.”

The countries which are most advanced in their datacentre investments are the Nordics, the DCH region (Germany) and the UK.

The EMEA organisations slightly increased the sophistication of their use of datacentres between last year’s and this year’s study. The overall index score rose by 1% across the region.

The study’s country-specific findings revealed that the UK has moved up one place since last year to become third overall in the Next Generation Datacentre Index, with improvements across the three indices – sustainability, flexibility and supportability.

Sustainability shows most improvement

The biggest area of improvement for the UK was sustainability as organisations with sustainability action-plan increased from 47% to 68%.

In addition, 70% of UK businesses reported some positive impact from datacentre consolidation, including one-in-three with improved server-utilisation levels of above 50%.

Use of virtualisation in the datacentre has also increased, with over half of UK organisations reporting virtualisation levels of above 50%.

UK businesses are employing virtualisation and server consolidation and are standardising their in-house datacentres to closely align business and IT functions and gain a competitive advantage, said Oracle's John Abel.

“The avalanche of data which forced many to look outside their four walls for support last year is only going to continue. As such it makes sense that many organisations have used the intervening year to get their houses in order and bring their data closer to the organisation,” said Luigi Freguia, senior vice-president, Oracle Systems EMEA. 

“It is also encouraging to see that organisations have future-proofed their datacentre facilities, with improvements in server utilisation levels and greater use of virtualisation,” Freguia said.

The study was conducted in October 2012 and Quocirca surveyed 952 managers in large organisations across 10 countries in EMEA.

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