Leviton recently commissioned an anonymous blind survey of more than 30 data center managers and IT directors to better understand the issues they face. The respondents represented markets ranging from healthcare, finance, retail, and manufacturing. An in-depth one-hour interview was conducted with each person to discuss their pain points and goals for keeping data centers up-to-date and operating at their best.
Many IT Directors feel overwhelmed by the range of operational choices, such as private versus public or hybrid cloud options. So while data center managers are willing to invest in upgrades and expansions, they are thinking more strategically, building clear data center road maps, and expecting a real and measurable return on investment.
Here are the top five trends on the minds of data center managers today.
The benefits of server virtualization are many: it can save money, conserve energy, improve density, and reduce square footage costs. More respondents in the survey brought up virtualization over any other trend. This is supported by a recent survey from Brocade that found 59% of data centers are planning for server virtualization by 2015. But this investment doesn’t come without challenges. IT directors need to have a plan for choosing the right software, training people to use it, and dedicating time and money to make the migration.
2. Energy efficiency
On average, 40% of data center operating costs are energy costs. These costs can be lessened when managed correctly with a strong energy strategy. There are many approaches to bringing down energy consumption, from adopting cooling/heating containment techniques to more energy-efficient lighting and other intelligent systems. More organizations are now following energy standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Underwriters Laboratories.
IT directors recognize they need a strategy for cloud computing. While some already have a strategy, they realize it needs to be updated to support new options and changing business goals. A good strategy involves not just how or when cloud projects should be deployed, but details on how the investment in cloud adoption will add business value. Many organizations see cloud services as an option, not the only solution that fits with other types of computing.
4. Space Utilization
Organizations are running more applications, installing more servers, and serving more customers, yet managing with physical space constraints. Managing rack space and capacity has become a top pain point for managers. This is a major reason why initiatives like virtualization and consolidation are so appealing. Also, taking advantage of higher density patching and high-capacity cable management can help IT directors do more in the space they have.
5. Power Management
Better power management can greatly improve energy efficiency. More efficient UPS systems can reduce wattage losses by as much as 65%. Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software has been effective in improving power utilization by monitoring energy consumption and alerting managers about specific conditions that create less than optimal electrical consumption.
Our interviews and other independent market research show that data center managers need a compelling return on investment to justify optimizing their data center. Leviton is dedicated to improving return on infrastructure investment (ROii™) with high-density, scalable solutions. These solutions that extend cabling infrastructure life cycles and meet future requirements, support migration to 40 GbE and 100 GbE applications.
To learn more about our data center solutions and services, go to leviton.com/datacenter.