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UK Organisations Take Naive Approach to Data Centre Management, Nlyte Software Research Reveals

Nlyte Software, a provider of data centre performance management solutions, today released the results of its recent research that surveyed 200 UK CIOs on the importance of better managing and optimising the data centre infrastructure. The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, shows a clear disconnect between reality and hype when it comes to implementing the latest technology trends like virtualisation and the cloud in the data centre, revealing that a worrying 64 percent of UK organisations do not have the appropriate management processes in place to make these changes successful in the long term.

As demand continues to outstrip availability for data centre space, Nlyte Software’s research found that just over half – 52 percent – of all CIOs surveyed intend to make changes to their existing data centre environments, with the financial services industry leading the way (58 percent). As the UK continues to crawl out of recession, results indicate that those most costly changes – including outsourcing, technical refreshes, and buying and building out data centre space – will be firmly de-prioritised, as more than one third of respondents (41 percent) will focus on implementing swift, cost effective modifications, such as virtualising, consolidating and streamlining their applications and servers already in place.

While more than half of all respondents cite either operational costs (69 percent), such as power consumption, or IT sustainability (51 percent) as the main driving factors behind these changes, just 18 percent consider the increasing popularity of the cloud to be a factor. Such results indicate that UK organisations run the risk of greatly underutilising these new technologies – and ultimately their return on investment – due to a lack of proper monitoring and management processes.

“It’s clear that organisations are still very cautious about their bottom line, and 2010 looks to be yet another year of no spend, particularly when it comes to hardware or the IT infrastructure,” said Jon Temple, CEO of Nlyte Software. “Given the current economy, it’s logical that organisations will instead be looking to capitalise on what they already have in place – an attitude that is crucial in the data centre where cost and efficiency will be the number one priority when looking to streamline the entire environment, from operations right through to sustainability. The question remains though as to how UK organisations plan to do this when almost two thirds of respondents still don’t have the proper tools in place to help them optimise their existing data centre assets.”

Although 77 percent of all respondents claim to understand the interdependencies between their critical applications and the data centre infrastructure, only 36 percent of organisations actually have the tools in place to help them monitor, manage and measure their data centres’ overall performance, indicating a massively naïve approach to data centre management. Nlyte Software notes that as virtualisation and the cloud become the norm, without the appropriate management processes and tools in place to oversee and control the huge range of critical applications in the data centre – not to mention where these applications are running and across which servers – UK organisations will lack the critical insight and judgement needed to make informed decisions about the performance of their infrastructures.

“With the recession still influencing IT budgets, and as government legislation such as the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme due to land this April, it’s no surprise that organisations in the UK are focusing first and foremost on virtualisation, consolidation, and streamlining the data centre environment,” commented Robert Neave, co-founder and VP of sustainable IT initiatives for Nlyte Software. “What’s most alarming to hear though is that so many UK organisations still don’t have – or even understand the need for – performance management tools or software that could not only help them manage the migration process, but ultimately benchmark the data centre’s overall performance against how it was previously running.

“Trends like the cloud may be all hype now, but there is no doubt they will become a reality,” continued Neave. “If organisations don’t have their data centres in order and have no way of effectively managing change, they will not only face competitive disadvantages, but may also fall victim to heavy government fines and serious reputational damage – consequences that, quite frankly, industries such as the financial services sector should be more than well aware of in today’s IT climate.”

Furthermore, Nlyte’s research also evaluated the awareness of the Government’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, a mandatory climate and energy saving scheme, as any organisation that may be impacted by this legislation must ensure that their data centres’ forecasted emission allowances are accurately included as part of their compliance strategies. The research found that – despite its introduction on April 1st – more than half (51 percent) of those surveyed had not yet heard of the scheme, and that of those who are familiar with it, only 27 percent have budgeted for the potential impact it will have on their data centre infrastructures.

“In today’s cost and environmentally conscious world, businesses must prioritise cost-effective, reliable and secure data centre solutions that can ultimately enhance their services,” added Simon Brickett, head of data centre managed services at Computacenter. “It’s no secret that effectively managing power consumption in the data centre has long been a concern for many UK organisations, but with the imminent arrival of the CRC Scheme, reviewing power usage as an IT strategy must now be a matter of urgency.”

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