Tag Archives: Gartner

Approaching the Data Centre Market

“There is no good way to predict what the technical footprint will be,” states Rachel Dines, analyst at Forrester Research. She refers here to the decision all corporations face when deciding whether to host their own IT infrastructure, or to outsource it.

Many companies are now swaying much more heavily towards renting data centre space. This has become especially apparent during the downturn of the economy, between 2009-10. Many sectors have not opted to commit funds to construction within this period, according to Ted Chamberlin, research director at Gartner.

This is because leasing allows much more flexibility in terms of expansion and avoids heavy initial investments. If a company experiences a heavy increase in traffic they can tap into a third party provider’s extra resources.

The main concern with building your own data centre is planning for future capacity. If a company expands quickly and owns its own premises there is the potential of facing hefty bills for maintenance, equipment or revamping.

Upgrading your own facilities on a regular basis is a huge job and can often present you with the same or larger costs than the initial build.

However not all the factors are stacked against having your own infrastructure. There is the issue of politics. The US Patriot Act for instance gives the American government the right to delve into any data stored on its shores, a huge detractor for many European businesses. Furthermore there is the UK Data protection Act which places red tape around moving data out of the EU.

Another issue is security. With your own infrastructure there is less danger of  someone gaining access to your data. Third party providers have also been  known to place pressures on customers to move out, to make room for larger customers. It is therefore essential that companies have iron-clad contracts in place, when utilising data centre space.

In conclusion there are advantages and disadvantages for both building data centres and leasing them. Many companies are now adopting a combination of both options. Often this is structured in a way which allows less important aspects of a company’s infrastructure to be outsourced, while retaining the more essential data within a purpose built infrastructure.

The Importance of Data Privacy Today.

Gartner recently proclaimed that 50% of businesses will review their privacy policies before the end of 2012 in order to properly reflect changes in business practices.

Traditionally it was enough for companies to tell customers their information was protected. However today companies require much greater assurance regarding data management. This has being confounded by new laws affecting mandatory breach disclosure.

Today the public is much more aware of privacy as well as just how detrimental a data breach can be. Furthermore companies are becoming far more proactive in educating their staff.

It is essential that companies tell their customers how they are dealing with new challenges such as the social media phenomenon. Furthermore new strategies must incorporate technologies such as Cloud Computing and location based services.

Gartner have identified five key areas for privacy officers to be concerned with over the coming years:

1) Data Breaches – These are much more easily managed if organisations can compartmentalise and encrypt personal information. In addition access must be restricted, data must be encrypted across multiple devices and protection from rogue administrators or hackers must be enforced.

2) Location Based Services – Organisations collect vast amount of information often without a clear idea of what to do with it.

3) Cloud Computing – One of the core considerations with Cloud Computing should be the legalities of the provider.

This is especially apparent when considering that the US Patriot Act which allows American authorities to seize data under an American organisation, regardless of where it is held.

4) Assessing the Value of Privacy – The balance between not enough and too much protection is a difficult one to strike and one which organisations have to approach carefully.

5) Interpreting the Law – The Law typically lags behind new tech and therefore organisations have to always assess how it will apply to new developments.










Gartner Ramps Up IT Spending Expectations

Gartner have again ramped up their IT expenditure expectations for 2011.

The analyst is now predicting a spending increase of 7.1% worldwide. This would take global IT expenditure up to $3.67 trillion. Such growth is also expected to continue into 2012 according to Gartner’s Vice President Richard Gordon.

Hardware is one area where expenditure is increasing exponentially and Gartner now envisage companies worldwide spending $419 billion within this particular sector. This is a 11.7% increase from last years $365 billion.

Particular emphasis has been placed on Public Cloud spending which is predicted to reach $89 billion this year. By 2015 this is expected to be up to $177 billion representing 5% of total IT spending worldwide.

In addition Gartner predict that companies will collectively spend $13 billion more on software this year. Additional spending on ‘Software As A Service (SAAS)’ applications is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2015.

“At about $10 billion, Software As A Service already accounts for 10% of enterprise applications software spending, and by 2015 this share is expected to increase to close to 15% and to exceed $20 billion in annual spending,” Gordon said.

One main reason for revised projections has been the realised impact of the Japanese tsunami.  Despite production in Japan being slowed overall IT expenditure has not being affected.



Gartner Magic Quadrant for Disk Based Enterprise Backup and Recovery

For the first time, the Gartner Magic Quadrant on Enterprise Backup and Recovery features Cloud Backup vendors alongside traditional tape based offerings.
Cloud Backup vendors were also presented with further good news, when Gartner anticipated that at least 30% of organizations will have changed backup vendors due to frustration over cost, complexity and/or capability and by 2014, 80% of the market will choose advanced, disk-based appliances and backup software-only solutions.

Top ranking of all the Cloud Backup vendors is Asigra.

Asigra is a 25-year-old, privately held company focused exclusively on backup, recovery and archiving.

The company has been providing multi-tenant backup and recovery solutions designed for managed service providers (MSPs) since its inception, and has amassed a very large number of partners that offer it as their own, relabeled software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. Asigra claims that over 250,000 sites are protected world wide. Initially designed for backup over a standard telephone line, the product has a long history of incorporating data reduction technology. As such, Asigra was one of the first backup solutions to deliver block-level incremental processing whereby only new and changed blocks of data need be transmitted.

The Asigra Cloud Backup software is based on an agent less architecture, with support for remote and branch offices, desktops, virtual environments and now laptops.

Asigra is quick to respond to market trends — notable is its support for CDP, virtual environments and Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification.

Asigra started supporting virtual environments almost six years ago. At that time, there were no backup APIs available from server virtualization vendors, so Asigra used the native APIs from VMware and Xen to provide support for VMs. Today, Asigra supports VMware through the vStorage APIs (VADP), as well as through native APIs. Asigra states that the native API method allows for greater granularity, to the file/message level.

As Asigra’s largest global partner with over 5 Petabytes of data under management, Backup Technology are delighted that Asigra have been placed above other managed backup solutions on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The results show Asigra’s abilities to enable partners such as Backup Technology to deliver fully managed backup solutions to household name business and enterprise customers.

Backup Technology currently have several individual customers who protect over 50 Terabytes of De Duplicated data using Asigra. Having worked with Asigra for over 6 years, we are confident that it is the only solution in the market that scales to enable us to protect individual customers of this size. What’s most impressive is that it does it without using any agents, and supports all of the major operating systems and database formats.

Streamlining Data Centre Efficiency

Increasingly businesses are looking to optimise the efficiency of data centres. In order to make data centres more sustainable IT departments are looking to smartly utilise natural resources as well as virtualise and consolidate. Currently the carbon footprint treaded by data centres is comparable to that of air travel.

Especially apparent in the current economic climate is the emphasis on the optimisation of the data centre within all businesses. According to Gartner – ‘Organisations are starting to take a serious look at consumption ratios of compute power to energy consumed and then compare them against estimated productivity of applications, as well as the equipment to deliver that application.’

The inefficiency of the majority of data centres becomes especially apparent when you consider how the energy consumption breaks down. Cooling accounts for 40% of overall energy consumption and is expected to reach $50 billion globally by the end of the century. Not to mention the fact that within data centres 30% of the servers are generally dead, consuming energy without being properly utilised.

In addition there has been a steady increase in the number of data centres being built. Within the U.S.A the number of data centres has reached the 10,000 mark and Gartner expect an increase in enterprise IT budgets of between 10-50%. Traditionally the leaders in data centre construction have been the U.S. and Europe. However Asia and the Pacific are rapidly catching up.

The global increase in data centres has however produced novel engineering methods to increase efficiency. Acamdemica have pushed such a novel scheme in Helsinki, a city where temperatures reach -20ºC.  Water used to cool data centres is recycled and used to provide heat for over 500 homes.  The same water is then re-circulated to cool the servers again.

The push for greener and more efficient data centres is now more apparent than ever with energy costs rising rapidly as well as the new UK Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) obligations.

Such a push needs to continue throughout the entire industry, from the power suppliers to the rack makers and industry leaders must work together to drive improvement.

Data security budgets increase as recession recedes

Analysts are predicting that the total global spend on security tools and software packages to protect and secure data will rise by the year’s end as the industry sees the effects of the economic turndown wane.

Gartner reports that businesses and organisations will spend £10.6 billion on security in 2010, which equates to an 11 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2009 when £9.6 billion was spent on security software.

Gartner noted that a decrease in investment had been a consequence of the global recession, but it said that most firms are still looking to strengthen and streamline their current data protection and system security technology in order to keep up with the ever changing threats.

Gartner’s Ruggero Contu said that security is set to experience the most significant growth of all sectors of the business software market, although he warned that the newer platforms may not perform as well as the more venerable tools on the market.

Mr Contu said that the industry experienced a similar slowdown during 2001 and 2002, but said that unlike that dip, the current security market is far more diverse, offering businesses flexible options and competitive vendors.

Mr Contu believes that the industry will be able to grow and offset the risks facing the systems and data managed by businesses and consumers around the world thanks to inventive payment schemes and flexible contracts.

Although enterprise customers are set to spend around £1.86 billion on data security software in 2010, Gartner expects that the consumer market will produce the greatest revenues for vendors, with individuals spending a total of £2.7 billion, up by £200 million compared to 2009.

Gartner says that the number of firms buying software as a service will exceed those who invest money to enhance in-house alternatives because of the ever-changing landscape of risk. It notes that malicious software and attack botnets are altering too quickly for businesses and that they must thus look to support from vendors in order to protect themselves in the future.

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