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Sydney, Australia, March 2, 2011 View All Press Releases

Gartner Identifies Top Trends Shaping the Future of Australian Data Centers in 2011

Latest Data Center Trends Will Be Addressed at Gartner's Infrastructure, Operations and Data Center Summit, 15-16 March in Sydney

 Cost containment, business continuity/availability and capacity issues are the most important drivers of strategic change in Australian data centres in 2011, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. While green IT and sustainability ranked lower down the list, Gartner analysts believe there is a high probability that many Australian CIOs would link these with cost containment.

“Australian companies are focusing on optimizing the cost structure of the data center with the aim of supporting business growth in the near future,” said Phillip Sargeant, research vice president at Gartner. “IT managers are evaluating ways to save money from routine operations and use the savings for running transformational IT projects with significant business impact.”

One of the biggest challenges faced by Australian data centers that is forcing change is data growth, with many Australian data centers running out of capacity. 59 percent of survey respondents ranked data growth as the leading infrastructure challenge, followed by system performance and scalability (37 percent), and network congestion and connectivity architecture (36 percent). While all the top infrastructure challenges impact cost to some degree, data growth is particularly associated with increased costs relative to hardware, software, associated maintenance, administration and services.

“Many organisations in Australia are running out of space in their data centers, coupled with fairly old and inefficient infrastructure,” said Matthew Boon, managing vice president at Gartner. “They are now looking to the latest technologies, such as virtualization or cloud computing, to either improve what they have or start again - whether they build themselves or outsource.”

The top three technologies that respondents plan to invest in through 2011 are server virtualization (97 percent), application consolidation or rationalization (72 percent) and blade servers (72 percent). These figures for Australia are significantly higher than global results.

“Australian organizations are at the head of the curve and tend to be early adopters of emerging technologies,” said Mr Boon. “Australia has some of the highest penetration rates of virtualization globally within organisations. With interest in cloud computing increasing, it is likely that Australian organizations will be very early adopters as virtualization helps to drive it.”

Forty-two percent of respondents plan to begin or continue investing in cloud computing or cloud services in 2011.

“Australian organizations have moved from thinking about what cloud computing is and means, to considering the investment they need to make and the business benefits,” said Mr Boon. “This interest is also reflected in Gartner’s 2011 CIO Agenda survey, which identified cloud computing as the top technology priority for CIOs.

“With such interest in cloud computing, we expect that around 70 percent of transactions for most organizations will be done in some form of cloud environment by 2020. It’s the biggest shift we are going to see relating to data centers.”

According to Mr Sargeant, there will also be a big shift away from the siloed approach to IT that is commonplace today, where different vendors are sourced for servers, storage and networking equipment. “Most vendors are now trying to offer the complete stack – a move towards a more converged, fabric computing environment for data centers.”

The Gartner survey was conducted from June to August 2010 with representatives from 1,004 large enterprises from eight countries, including 100 from Australia. The survey was designed to generate a greater understanding of what is happening in the data centres of large enterprises worldwide today and the trends that will drive change in those data centres in the future.

Additional information is available in the special report "User Survey Analysis: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Data Centre Infrastructure Through 2011" which is available on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=1456135. Countries included in the survey included Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia, U.S., and the U.K.

More detailed analysis on the key issues facing the data centre market will be provided at the Gartner Infrastructure, Operations & Data Center Summit, 15-16 March 2011 in Sydney. Members of the media wishing to register can contact Susan Moore, Gartner PR at susan.moore@gartner.com. For further information on the summit, please visit http://www.gartner.com/ap/datacentre

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