Private cloud drives data centre expansion, says survey

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Half of those polled in the latest cloudy survey have said they will “definitely” look to expand their data centres in the coming year, with the vast majority of remaining respondents claiming they will expand in 2014.

The survey, commissioned by data centre services provider Digital Realty Trust and conducted by Campos Research and Analysis, spoke to 300 IT execs and concluded that this explosion in data centre usage was primarily down to the proliferation of private clouds.

Three in five (61%) cited an internal cloud as an “extremely important reason” for expansion, with the main data centre driver being security (67%).

Other interesting drivers noted in the top 10 were disaster recovery (62%), new apps and services (61%) and virtualisation (57%).

The most popular place to build a new data centre is New York, according to the research, with 65% of those surveyed citing the most interest in the Big Apple. Los Angeles (47%), London (39%), Dallas (36%) and Hong Kong (34%) made up the top five, indicating a US bias – perhaps not surprising given that the survey was North America based, but still interesting to examine.

Also not surprisingly, larger companies were more likely to invest. 55% of larger companies – defined in the survey as having revenues of $5bn or more – said they would ‘definitely’ expand, compared to 35% of smaller organisations.

The survey shed light on the growth of data centres, as well as the time frame involved.

A quarter of companies in the survey stated they had six or more data centres, with the average number being 4.5. Similarly, two thirds of respondents said they had built or acquired a new data centre in the past two years – only 9% said their last data centre build was before 2009.

IT load is going up too, with the average company reporting 2.6 megawatts (mW) of load, up from 2.2 mW this time last year.

Given the stats continue to go up, this is overwhelming evidence of the continued focus on a data centric ecosystem.

Research from Cisco’s Connected World Technology Report examined how companies are digging deeper in their data, with an eye opening stat being that whilst 60% of survey respondents agreed big data would improve decision making, only 28% reported they were getting “strategic value” from it. Similarly, discussion at Mobile World Congress back in February included insights from IBM and Flowminder on how big data is saving lives.

Companies are getting hold of more and more data – but are you making the most of it and siphoning out the noise?

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