Three quarters of data centre managers feel hobbled by budgets

Three-quarters of European data centre managers do not feel they are achieving required performance levels, in a situation worsened by inadequate technology budgets.

A survey of over 400 European data centre managers found that while 93 percent of them acknowledged the criticality of optimising application performance across their data centres and networks, the large majority said they were failing to do so.

Respondents said key inhibitors to adequate application performance were network and storage access bottlenecks, with 70 percent citing these. The problems in many instances are the result of massive data traffic increases challenging infrastructures, which in turn are limited by slower growing budgets.

Networking and storage semiconductor firm LSI did the survey, and said data centres are suffering from a "data deluge gap". LSI said this gap is caused by network traffic and storage capacity needs growing more than 30 percent per year, while IT budgets and spending are growing at much slower rates of only five to seven percent a year.

"As a result, today’s explosive data growth is outstripping the infrastructure build-out required to support it, and data centre managers are acutely feeling this challenge," said LSI.

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With performance issues in many cases impacting on transaction completion levels, companies are being warned that the problem could be impacting their revenues.

Data centre managers showed "strong interest" in flash-based storage and understood that solid state disks (SSDs) can accelerate application performance, said LSI. However, the survey revealed that nearly half don’t yet have budget allocated to the purchase of SSDs, and that perceived costs were cited as the biggest reason for data centre managers holding back on their adoption of SSDs (92 percent).

Respondents said the top four business-critical applications in their data centres were virtualisation tools, Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and Oracle applications.

“There is a need for strong performance improvements in data centres specifically around system intelligence and application acceleration given the growing challenges of the data deluge gap,” said Tony Afshary, director of marketing for accelerated solutions at LSI.

Earlier this week it was reported that global rail and utilities engineering firm Alstom had brought in CSC to "transform" its data centre operations as part of a five-year managed services contract, using cloud and storage virtualisation technologies.