Asia Pacific data centre managers face cost containment and staffing as lead issues, reports Symantec in its second annual data centres study. Symantec Malaysia managing director Suzie Tan said that the study - 2008 Asia Pacific State of the Data Centre - was conducted by US research firm Applied Research at the end of 2008 from 1,600 responses from 21 countries, with 20 to 25 percent from the Asia Pacific region.
Tan said that controlling costs and staffing top the issues. "More than one third (37 percent) of respondents said that they were understaffed. In addition, they found it very difficult to attract and retain the right IT talent."
"In essence, data managers are caught between two conflicting goals--more demanding user expectations and higher levels of performance, yet reducing costs remain the primary objective for the date centre," said Tan.
DR needs work, virtualisation a necessity
"The research confirms what we are seeing in the field," said Tan. "Attention has turned to initiatives that will drive immediate cost reduction, rather than longer term returns on investment (ROI) driven programmes."
The report showed there was room for improvement in the area of disaster recovery (DR), "In fact, just 41 percent report their disaster recovery plan is above average, while 16 percent say it needs work and 6 percent report their plan is informal or undocumented," said she added,
Symantec Asia South region, systems engineering, Raymond Goh confirmed that cost containment is the biggest objective, especially in the current economic downturn. "Large organisations have multiple data centres but it does not necessarily mean a larger IT staff."
Goh said that one in three respondents saw their DR recovery plan as inadequate. The biggest causes were not natural disasters but hardware failure, software failure, human error, and power outages. "More than half of respondents said they needed a better disaster recovery plan."
In addition, Goh said that the study showed that server virtualisation was becoming more of an economic necessity rather than a nice-to-have item. "In Malaysia, the utilisation rate was 56 percent, and 90 percent of local respondents are pursuing server virtualisation."
Heterogeneous software as a solution
Tan said that heterogeneous software would help data centre managers to do more with less and lower operational costs.
"Sound disaster recovery plans needed a holistic data protection and storage solution across virtual environments, remote offices, desktops, laptops, servers, applications and databases," said Tan. "A single layer solution would also help to offset the demands of staffing shortage and training as implementing such a solution would be less complex to manage."
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