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WITH GLOBAL MELTDOWN Data centers need to ‘do more with less’

Posted on: April 11, 2009

WITH GLOBAL MELTDOWN
Data centers need to ‘do more with less’

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:17:00 04/10/2009

Filed Under: Computing & Information Technology

MANILA, Philippines—Data center managers worldwide are caught between more demanding user expectations and higher levels of performance, while reducing operation costs for data center especially with the current financial meltdown, an official said.

Firms are turning to initiatives that will drive immediate cost reduction, rather than long-term return on investment programs—driven by continuous demand for storage capacity despite economic challenges and low IT spending, said Suzie Tan, Philippines country manager of Symantec Corp.

In Symantec’s “2008 Asia Pacific State of the Data Center Report,” issues affecting data center and storage performance include IT staffing, underutilized servers and storage, and outdated disaster recovery programs, said Raymond Goh, director, systems engineering for Asia South Region and country manager for Vietnam.

To meet performance demands, Asia Pacific companies can turn to automation of routine tasks to free up the load of their IT staff, adopt server virtualization and consolidation to optimize use of servers, reduce data center complexity to cut down on power use, and protect and manage data, servers, and applications on a single platform, said Goh citing the report.

Companies also eye the adoption of green data center initiatives driven by cost benefits and growing acceptance of integrating green in the corporate social responsibility, Tan said. Green initiatives include cutting down on power consumption mainly used for cooling down the machines.

The study found 37 percent of the companies surveyed reported they are understaffed, with only 9 percent being overstaffed. To address staffing issues, companies employ strategic training and outsourcing so data center staff to focus on their tasks.

In 2008, companies reported data center servers were operating at 65 percent of capacity only, down from last year’s 70 percent. Data center utilization was lower at 60 percent. The report found that about 90 percent of companies deploy server virtualization and server consolidation. Continuous data protection, storage virtualization, and storage resource management are the top storage-related initiatives.

Companies in Asia Pacific find that hardware and software failures are the biggest causes of unplanned downtime in the area of disaster recovery, followed by human error and power outages, said Goh.

Goh said Symantec recently launched the Veritas CommanCentral Storage Change Manager to help companies address the challenges in data center management.

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