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Survey: Most data centers don’t meet the needs of their users

News Analysis
Mar 26, 20203 mins
Data Center

You don’t need to downsize your data center, you need to expand it, says the survey.

bulldozer wrecking ball deconstruct tear down decommission data center
Credit: 3dSculptor / Getty Images

A joint report released by Forbes Insights and Vertiv found that just 29% of data-center decision-makers say their current facilities are meeting their needs, and only 6% say their data centers are updated ahead of their needs.

In yet another example of the disconnect between executives and people on the front lines, 11% of executives believe their data centers are updated ahead of current bandwidth needs, while just 1% of engineers feel the same way.

Future data centers, the report says, will inevitably require adequate processing power – locally in the cloud and at the edge – to effectively manage new challenges around bandwidth, security and technologiesAI, advanced analytics, 5G, edge computing and more.

Decentralization of data, by moving it around and processing it away from the central data center, will help enable faster processing. But that requires a three-pronged approach of cloud, core data center, and the edge. The survey found that on average, 32% of data is stored in local data centers today, but respondents plan to shift to more distributed computing – including local data centers, edge, and hybrid cloud.

Other findings:

  • Survey respondents say security (45%) and bandwidth/speed (43%) are areas where their data centers need to be upgraded.
  • The trend towards hybrid IT is accelerating with the range of data locations for enterprises increasing. There will be more data overall due to IoT and other drivers, and it will be located in a greater variety of hybrid IT destinations.
  • Self-configuring and self-healing data centers will become a bigger part of the data-center mix. Almost a quarter (24%) of executives report that over 50% or more of their data centers will be self-configuring by 2025. About one-third (32%) say that more than 50% of their data centers will be self-healing by then.
  • Introduction of new technologies, such as 5G-enabled edge computing, will have an impact on IT staffing. Almost three-quarters (74%) of C-suite executives believe staffing will be reduced or handled by external cloud or edge service providers.
  • Top features in the data center that will lead to competitive advantage include security (43%), the ability to implement new technologies (28%) and bandwidth (27%).

These findings all indicate one thing: enterprises need to invest more in their data center and IT equipment, not less. Shutting down your data center and moving everything to AWS is a 2012 strategy that you will have to undo very quickly.

To be successful and nimble in this environment – pandemics not included – you need fast connectivity to multiple locations – the core data center, the edge/IoT, and the public cloud – with the latest in AI, 5G, and hyperconverged infrastructure.

So, sorry CIOs, it looks like you can’t get rid of that data center just yet.

The survey can be found here.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.