According to Gartner’s recent survey on data center infrastructure challenges and trends, the top three challenges for large enterprises are data growth, followed by system performance and scalability, and network congestion and connectivity architecture.
The survey was conducted from June through August 2010 and collected data from 1,004 large enterprises in eight different countries.
To offset potential problems with data growth, 62% of respondents plan on investing in data archiving or retirement by the end of 2011. Respondents also indicated plans to implement storage consolidation projects, storage management tools and additional security measures to offset data growth issues.
Naveen Mishra, principal research analyst at Gartner, noted that the second biggest challenge, system performance and scalability, emerged as a result of the economic downturn seen last year.
“Many data center managers were forced to defer infrastructure upgrades and extend technology refresh cycles in 2009 and, as a result, are now dealing with an aging infrastructure or, in some cases, product obsolescence,” Mishra said.
The third biggest data center infrastructure challenge, network congestion and connectivity architecture, goes hand-in-hand with server virtualization projects. Virtualized servers require higher I/O, and traditional LAN switches are not able to meet the upsurge in network demand. In most respondents’ data centers, there is also a shortage of switches with 10 Gb Ethernet connectivity.
As far as predictions for 2011, 30% of survey respondents plan on building a new data center by the end of the year and more than half of them said they will expand capacity in their existing data center. Top technologies to invest in for next year are server virtualization (67% of respondents), application consolidation or rationalization (56%) and blade servers (51%).
The Gartner Data Center Conference will be held in Las Vegas, Dec. 6-9.