Columbus, Ohio – Data center managers are valuing visibility into their IT network and infrastructure more than ever before according to a recent survey from Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and the global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure.
The biannual survey polled members of the Data Center Users’ Group® (DCUG), an association of influential data center, IT and facility managers sponsored by Emerson Network Power, and captured input from more than 120 respondents across North America. The questions covered a variety of data center topics including data center monitoring and management, power density and management, precision cooling and energy efficiency.
According to the survey, 56 percent of the respondents listed adequate monitoring and data center management capabilities among their three biggest concerns—making it the top concern among this year’s survey respondents and marking the highest percentage for the monitoring/management response in the history of the DCUG survey, which is now seven years running. In fact, in the five most recent DCUG surveys—all conducted over the past three years—no other concern topped that 56 percent mark. In the spring 2012 survey, 52 percent of respondents listed availability among their top three concerns, ranking second in the survey, and 45 percent listed energy efficiency.
“Clearly, visibility into the network is of critical concern to today’s data center professionals, and with good reason,” said Bob Miller, vice president, Emerson Network Power’s Liebert products business in North America, and a member of the Data Center Users’ Group board of directors. “Today’s data center is an incredibly complex, dynamic environment and increasingly critical to the success of most businesses. Those businesses are consolidating and virtualizing servers and putting a premium on flexibility and scalability for their IT systems, and that requires a level of visibility into the data center infrastructure that only recently became possible.”
An overwhelming majority of respondents have overseen recent consolidation and/or virtualization projects in their data centers with more of the same on the immediate horizon. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed said they had implemented some server consolidation or virtualization in the last 18 months and 87 percent of those respondents indicated they expected to start another such project within the year.
The trend toward consolidation and virtualization is reflected in a sharp increase in average power density in the facilities of those surveyed. The average reported power density was 7.89 kW per rack, compared to just 6.0 kW per rack a year ago. DCUG members do not see that trend slowing, as respondents predicted densities of 12.17 kW per rack in just two years. Already, when asked what the maximum power density per rack was in their data centers, respondents indicated an average of 12.67 kW.
Additional results include the following:
- Fifty-six percent believe their existing data center capacity will suffice for three years or less.
- Thirty-one percent already have implemented wireless technologies in their data centers and another 21 percent are considering doing so.
- Seventy-six percent of the respondents who had consolidated and/or virtualized servers experienced some type of problem in the aftermath. Those problems included asset management, hot spots and power capacity.
Emerson Network Power uses the data from the DCUG survey to track market issues and inform programming at future DCUG and industry events, such as the upcoming California TECHSymposium, September 18, 2012 in San Jose, California. That event, co-sponsored by Emerson Network Power and the DCUG, is focused on the future of the data center. The DCUG Fall Conference is scheduled for Nov. 12-14 in Orlando.
Founded in 2003, the DCUG contains approximately 1,000 members in North America; the group meets semi-annually to collaboratively discuss best practices, share experiences and address the most relevant issues affecting the reliability, availability and cost of operation for critical installations. The group’s membership comprises executives with a wide variety of IT and facilities management expertise from numerous companies and industries, including board member companies Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions, JPMorgan Chase and Meijer, among others.