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Cloud Services World Data storage and IT management:
DataCore’s survey, which polled 289 IT administrators worldwide, revealed that 63 percent of respondents consider system downtime and slow application performance to be their primary storage-related virtualisation concerns, up from 36 percent in 2011. IT administrators still consider the rising cost of storage to be a problem with virtualisation initiatives, but overall it is declining as a major concern, with just over half (51 percent) describing increasing storage costs as one of their biggest problems (down from 66 percent in 2011).
While increasing storage costs may be less of an issue than last year, storage-related costs continue to comprise a significant portion of virtualisation budgets, with 44 percent of respondents saying that storage costs represent more than a quarter of their total budget for virtualisation. Many companies are allocating more money for storage, with 37 percent saying their storage budgets have increased this year, while just 13 percent say they have been cut.
Additional findings from the DataCore survey of 289 IT organisations worldwide:
• More than one in three respondents (34 percent) admit they underestimated the impact server/desktop virtualisation would have on their storage costs. For those deploying a private cloud, more than one in four (28 percent) underestimated how storage costs would be affected.
• Throwing more money at storage has not reduced performance concerns for companies that have embraced server and desktop virtualisation. Even with an increase in the average storage budget, more companies reported significant problems with storage-related performance, bottlenecks, downtimes, and business continuity in 2012.
• 32 percent reported that their storage infrastructure slowed application performance this year (up from 26 percent in 2011), 32 percent said they have experienced downtime due to storage-related problems (9 percent said virtualisation decreased application availability last year), and 23 percent said that ensuring business continuity has become a more difficult challenge.
• 80 percent of companies say they have virtualised more than 50 percent of their servers, up from 64 percent in 2011. Less than 5 percent say they haven’t virtualised any servers at all, compared to 9 percent of companies in 2011.
• Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents report that they are not able to manage their storage resources in a single, logical storage pool (up from 61 percent from last year).
• One in two respondents still uses virtualisation software that cannot control different types of storage devices.
• Among those with private clouds, less than one-third (32 percent) of respondents report that they haven’t begun using storage virtualisation technology in their private cloud environments.
“DataCore’s 2012 State of the Private Cloud survey shows that as virtualisation moves from theory to practice, storage-related performance and availability are becoming of greater concern to businesses, but cost concerns haven’t gone away,” said George Teixeira, president and CEO of DataCore Software.
“The use of a storage hypervisor ensures high performance and availability in the storage infrastructure through features such as auto-tiering, device interchangeability, thin provisioning, and continuous data protection,” continued Teixeira. “A storage hypervisor solves the cost issue by enabling enterprises to make greater use of existing storage infrastructure, while dramatically reducing the need for large-scale storage hardware upgrades.”
A Perfect Storm of Possibilities for Storage Virtualisation
According to Mark Peters, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, “If the DataCore survey shows anything, it's that the time is ripe for storage virtualisation, both to meet the business objectives associated with virtualisation projects and to reduce the risks associated with those initiatives. More companies are virtualising more servers than ever before, but a notable faction of users – about a third – are underestimating the storage costs associated with server and desktop virtualisation projects as well as the storage costs associated with private clouds.
“Rather than simply continuing to expand traditional storage solutions, IT managers would be well advised to consider addressing performance and downtime issues with a storage virtualisation solution that enables them to apply a simplified management approach to manage their storage resources in a single, logical storage pool. For the respondents in DataCore's survey – and others – who are not using storage virtualisation, I would say that logic, availability, and need are all aligned to say it's time to take a serious look.”
The online survey of 289 businesses worldwide was conducted in March 2012. The survey asked a series of questions about virtualisation and its impact on storage. The full report may be found here: http://pages.datacore.com/StateofPrivClouds.html.