Corporate Datacenter Trends
Top Priority Next 90 Days – Improve IT Asset Utilization

 


About This Report: A June survey of 676 members of the 451 Global Digital Infrastructure Alliance focused on key enterprise datacenter trends – including spending, utilization and organizational dynamics.

 

High-Priority Projects. Looking out over the next 90 days, respondents were asked which datacenter projects were considered high priorities. The top priority across organizations of all sizes is Improving existing IT asset utilization (55%).

Deployment Options. Respondents whose organization deployed LOB applications or workloads in the last 12 months were asked where those workloads were deployed, and 60% said Company-owned/leased datacenters and facilities.

Colocation. The top attribute that respondents look for when selecting a colocation provider is Reliability/uptime of datacenters (85%), followed by Value for money (TCO/ROI) (76%) and Availability of connectivity options (66%).

DCIM. The top inhibitor to DCIM adoption, even among respondents already using this technology, is complexity. This includes both Implementation complexity (40%) and Product complexity (32%), along with the Lack of staff expertise (30%).

SD-WAN. The top two drivers for implementing SD-WAN are Improved reliability/availability (56%) and Improved performance (52%). Decreased Cost (48%) is a close third.

By Tracy Corbo

High-Priority Projects Next 90 Days

Looking out over the next 90 days, our survey respondents were asked which datacenter projects were considered high priorities. The top priority across organizations of all sizes is Improving existing IT asset utilization (55%). Datacenter consolidation (23%) is the second-highest priority for companies with more than 1,000 employees, while smaller organizations are more focused on Upgrading/retrofitting an existing facility (22%).

Facilities and Deployment

The average number of datacenters across companies of all sizes is less than two, and for other types of IT sites, the number is less than 10.

A closer look by company size shows that for very large organizations – those with more than 10,000 employees – the average number of Server closets jumps to 16.1 while the number of Local datacenters rises to 3.9.

Deployment Options. Respondents whose organization deployed LOB applications or workloads in the last 12 months were asked where those workloads were deployed, and 60% said Company-owned/leased datacenters and facilities. Another 23% selected Third-party managed service provider facilities.

Capacity Thresholds. Respondents were asked what they would do in a pinch if they ran out of either floor space or power capacity at their datacenters. While the top choice for companies with less than 10,000 employees is to make use of off-premises cloud services (32%), very large organizations say they will work with what they have to accommodate the increased demand.

Colocation

Respondents whose organization leases space at colocation providers were asked a series of questions with regard to their colocation use.

Key Attributes. The top attribute that respondents look for when selecting a colocation provider is Reliability/uptime of datacenters (85%), followed by Value for money (TCO/ROI) (76%) and Availability of connectivity options (66%).

Purchased Services. The most frequently purchased colocation offerings are those around physical space, including Cabinet/rack space (58%) and Dedicated cage/private suite space (55%). Interconnection services (48%) was third.

Satisfaction. Respondents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction with colocation providers using a 0-10 scale, where 0 is ‘Not at all satisfied’ and 10 is ‘Extremely satisfied.’ Overall, respondents have a moderate to high satisfaction level (mean = 7.5) with their current colocation provider.

DCIM

Datacenter Infrastructure Management (DCIM) systems collect and manage information about a datacenter’s assets, resource use and operational status. Respondents were asked several questions about their use of DCIM. Just over one-third (36%) of respondents are currently using DCIM software in their organizations. This technology is far more common (78%) among large organizations with more than 10,000 employees.

Inhibitors. Among respondents currently using DCIM technology, the biggest inhibitor to its adoption is complexity. This includes both Implementation complexity (40%) and Product complexity (32%), along with the Lack of staff expertise (30%).

Key Attributes. Given the technical complexity of most DCIM offerings, it is no surprise that the top attribute respondents look for when selecting a DCIM vendor is Technical support/expertise (71%). This was followed by Value for money (TCO/ROI) (65%) and Depth of management functions/features (58%).

SD-WAN

Just like DCIM, SD-WAN is more common in larger organizations with many remote sites or connected datacenters. While only 20% of respondents at organizations with less than 250 employees currently use or plan to use SD-WAN technology, 55% of very large organizations do.

Key Drivers. There have always been two primary drivers for implementing SD-WAN technology – performance and cost. Reliable high-performance WAN connectivity is expensive, and SD-WAN provides a means to get the most from those connections. Consequently, the top two drivers for implementing SD-WAN are Improved reliability/availability (56%) and Improved performance (52%). Decreased Cost (48%) is a close third.

Inhibitors. One of the most difficult business cases to make is that you need to spend money to ultimately save money. The financial benefits of SD-WAN are often realized over time, and this can make it a difficult sell when budgets are tight.

When respondents not currently using SD-WAN technology were asked why their organization wasn’t deploying it, the top reasons cited were Lack of business case (44%) and Existing network is sufficient (38%). An overall lack of understanding of SD-WAN – Unfamiliar with technology (34%) – was an issue as well.

You can access a PDF version of this 451 Alliance report here.

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Appendix: Definitions