The new data center by the numbers

From autonomic computing to virtualization, new data center technologies rate with readers.

Desperately seeking management relief, IT executives are turning to autonomic computing, virtualization, application performance monitoring and other new data center technologies as antidotes, a recent survey of Network World readers finds.

Better management and reliability drives IT decisions for 81% of the 824 readers surveyed (see "IT drivers" graphic), while 88% of respondents report that recent IT investments have entirely or partly gone toward developing the new data center (see "Investing in the new data center" graphic ).

Autonomic computing garners the most interest among new data center technologies (see "Big draw," graphic). No doubt, respondents see autonomic computing as the way to ease deployment, management and security challenges. "It currently takes us seven hours a day just to monitor backups - much less to do everything else," says one respondent who clearly could benefit from the self-managing nature of an autonomic- computing system.

Improved application performance stands out as a big motivator for investing in a new data center infrastructure, with 65% identifying this as an important or very important reason behind network upgrades (see "What's behind network upgrades," graphic ). Respondents also want management platform vendors to improve their application performance-monitoring features. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they think it is important or very important that their platform management vendors provide a clear view of application performance and the ability to ensure that critical applications operate flawlessly.

Interestingly, the survey shows that most respondents know they must keep up with best practices for managing IT services. But many respondents aren't familiar with the foremost IT best-practices frameworks: the Capability Maturity Model Integration, Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology and the IT Infrastructure Library (see "IT best practices," graphic ).

A disconnect also pops up when looking at the value respondents place on procedures such as mapping IT to business processes and the deployment reality. For example, 40% of respondents view mapping IT to business processes as very important. Yet only 10% have done so completely.

Such is the nature of the new data center. IT executives understand the value of the new data center, but still are mostly in the planning stages of how to use or are just beginning to embrace the antidotes.

Survey methodology

Fluke Networks commissioned Gilmore Research Group to conduct a survey of Network World readers and other IT professionals regarding the new data center concept and supporting technologies and business practices. A total of 1,018 qualified respondents participated in the survey. The results profiled here represent the 815 Network World reader responses only.

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