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Datacentre upgrades emerge as top priority for medium to large-sized operators

451 Research suggests operators are looking to consolidate smaller server rooms and move more workloads to larger, centralised datacentres

The datacentre remains a top investment priority for the enterprise, with 87% of North American and European operators setting out plans to maintain or increase spending in this area.

That’s according to 451 Research’s second-quarter survey of datacentre investment trends, which also flagged the healthcare and finance industries as the vertical markets most inclined to spend more on their datacentres in 2015.

The survey’s results are compiled from responses gleaned from 1,240 internet surveys and 26 hour-long interviews with senior IT professionals.  

451 Research research director Dan Harrington said a lot of the work many seem to be undertaking involves upgrades to existing sites, rather than the creation of brand-new facilities.

For example, of the organisations planning to step up their datacentre investments, 37% said they will as part of a wider push to upgrade or retrofit their facilities so they operate more efficiently.

As such, many of those questioned cited power equipment, datacentre infrastructure management (DCIM) software and rack and cabling as their top priority areas for investments in their facilities.

“To support growing business demands on IT, enterprises are freeing up budgets and investing in modernising neglected datacentre facilities. Equipment vendors with offerings that target enterprise clients’ larger premium sites will see the greatest opportunity,” said Harrington.

This is because the research suggests many operators are planning to consolidate their smaller, local datacentres and server rooms. In turn, this will result in them passing more workloads over to cloud and co-location providers, while maintaining a central, more premium datacentre space.

In line with this, most of the organisations surveyed by 451 Research said they plan to close many of their smaller datacentres over the next two years, while the number of centralised datacentres is expected to grow.

Despite this, 451 Research said the overall datacentre square footage owned by enterprises will remain flat worldwide.

Preferred providers

The survey also asked respondents to list all of the co-location and cloud service providers they use, with Equinix, AT&T and Sungard emerging as the three most frequently mentioned in the former category, while Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce.com rounded out the top three in the latter.

According to the organisation’s research, companies tend to seek out the services of co-location and cloud providers when their datacentres reach 75% capacity, and there is as very good reason for that, said Harrington.

“Co-location and cloud service providers are well positioned to grow as enterprises require additional capacity and increasingly need to be more agile in responding to growing business demands. Facilities vendors who target colocation and cloud service providers will also benefit from this increased enterprise demand,” he said.

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