Virtualization to spur data center requirements for 2011

According to 69.83% of the respondents during the Data Center Decisions India 2011 Survey by, data center budgets are set to increase by 5 to 10%. The survey conducted on 272 participants also revealed that data center requirements

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will be driven by virtualization and  affect the buying pattern of all other technologies, including cloud computing and blade servers, with more focus on power and cooling management.

Virtualization for disaster recovery (DR)

The survey stated that around 77.2% of the organizations have more than one data center, resulting from a DR set-up. Around 50% users have 1 to 99 servers, while around 21% have 100 to 500. This makes virtualization and consolidation an important data center requirement, as one can save a lot on space. Although virtualization reduces the number of servers, it is one of the top drivers to purchase a server, with 32.23% users confirming this. Most organizations prefer to upgrade to blade servers, due to the capacity they can handle, ease of manageability and consolidation. Server purchase for data center requirements is also undertaken to support new applications (45.04%), improve server energy efficiency (40.50%), increase capacity (36.36%) and build or extend internal cloud computing (21.07%). Virtualization has greatly boosted the adoption of internal cloud.

Around 32.71% respondents are already looking at expanding their virtual memory system. Virtualization for disaster recovery or high availability is being utilized by (26.17%) respondents and (14.02%) are using virtualization for a private/public cloud architecture as requirement for data center. As organizations focus on setting up a new data center for DR, virtualization acts as a savior. Apart from these, 15.42% are deploying or extending client/desktop virtualization. Thus, data center requirements and availability of technology have led IT managers to consider virtualization for different purposes, rather than just consolidation. The first virtualization player in India, VMware is the leader when it comes to virtualization platform, with 45% respondents using it. Microsoft Virtual Server (10%), IBM-AIX focused virtualization (7.14%), Microsoft Hyper-V R2 (5.71%), which is a latest entrant, HP’s Virtual Server Environment (5%), and Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based KVM (5%) are other preferred platforms.

Increase in virtualization budget

An astounding 68.61% respondents will witness an increase in their virtualization budget next year. Organizations are more willing to experiment with new technologies and the top management is realizing the cost savings and business benefits of virtualization, which helps save on hardware (69.79%) and power and cooling costs (63.54%), modernize architecture (44.79%), reduce data center physical space (44.79%), and implement a cloud computing architecture (27.08%). Most organizations want their data centers to be in the main city area due to constant power supply and considering the cost of real estate, consolidation becomes a major data center requirement.

Contrary to this, the decrease in virtualization budget seems to be on haphazard level with 66.67% organizations wanting to keep information technology (IT) in-house to control it and prevent outsourcing. Around 50% want to achieve better insight about resource use and cost recovery. Calculating the return on investment on virtualization could be immediate or a lengthy process depending on various IT environments. The other 50% prefer to leverage investment in the existing infrastructure rather than introduce a new technology, if it is not an immediate data center requirement.

Power requirements

Another data center requirement that has cropped up due to virtualization is blade server. Performance has been the greatest driver for it (51.24%), followed by power consumption/energy efficiency (24.38%). With virtualization emerging as a major data center priority, the server utilization goes up to around 80%, generating lot of heat, which raises concerns over power and cooling management.

IT managers in India give a lot of thought to the power requirement of a data center. Around 69.12% will not have their data centers reach or exceed their maximum power and/or cooling demands over the next 12 to18 months. Different methods of dealing with power and cooling are being adopted, such as consolidating the existing data center (52.94%), where virtualization plays a major role, building a new data center (35.29%), putting workloads into a cloud computing environment (30.59%), and leasing colocation space (23.53%). Power and cooling issues have made organizations implement cloud computing, especially the small and medium businesses that can leverage on latest technology without making heavy investments.