Tag Archives: Gartner

Analysts predict hardware spend will fall as cloud computing dominates

Research firm Gartner has revealed that IT budgets will become increasingly focused on cloud computing, open source projects and virtualisation, creating a vacuum in the hardware market as demand falls.

The arrival of Windows 7 last year will have helped the hardware industry slightly as firms move to upgrade systems in 2010. However, it is believed that this year many larger projects revolving around in-house infrastructure changes will be dropped by some businesses as they look to alternative options.

In a recent report Gartner suggested that some £2.1 trillion will be spent on IT this year, which is up over five per cent compared to 2009. In 2011 it predicts even greater budgetary increases, with £2.3 trillion or more potentially being spent.

It is believed that spending on storage will increase as firms look to expand their data capacity, which is constantly being stretched as data requirements grow. However, over the next four years the forecast for most hardware spending looks to be on a downward trend.

Interestingly most firms upgrading server hardware are opting for entry level solutions as stop-gap solutions in order to tide them over until they are ready to make the leap to cloud computing and virtualisation of their systems.

The arrival of Windows 7 is expected to account for 1 per cent of the market growth in 2010 as firms commit to an upgrade cycle. Small and medium sized businesses are switching to the new Microsoft operating system because most believe that it offers better usability and heightened performance.

Gartner says that current IT spending is still being driven by improving efficiency whilst cutting costs, as the global recession is still biting hard in many industries. This is causing many firms to seek out services that can automate essential processes.

The result is that open source projects and virtualisation of data storage will become far more commonplace. This will be good news for vendors in these areas and it is believed that the competition this will generate will continue to ensure that such services are cost effective.

Analysts question virtualised server security

Researchers at Gartner have said that businesses could be leaving themselves exposed to data loss if the uptake of virtualised servers for storage continues its exponential growth.

Gartner estimates that about 60 per cent of virtualised servers that are used by businesses will be more vulnerable than on-site solutions which are being superseded by virtualisation. This critical mass will be reached by 2012 and the level of exposure could pose a serious threat.

Gartner was quick to point out that virtualisation itself was not an intrinsically vulnerable concept, but that firms hastily adopting it as an alternative to physical servers were not taking the proper precautions to protect their data.

Gartner VP Neil MacDonald said that the problem lies with workloads that are being handled with inadequate security measures in place in a virtualised environment. Mr MacDonald pointed to a shortage in the number of professionals able to advise and train firms in the adoption of virtualised server solutions.

In order to neutralise the potential threat, businesses are being advised to seek out support and advice from professional security vendors. They are also encouraged to apply the same protective approach to virtualised systems as they do to their internal storage solutions.

A Gartner report published this week suggested that applying a consistent policy of best practice for data security was essential and using security vendors able to accommodate virtualised and physical systems would prove to be the most effective preventative measure.

Hackers are already targeting the virtualised portions of businesses’ data centres and thus fast action is required by any early adopters who believe that they have so far left themselves unprotected.

The report suggests that businesses will need to employ their own means of checking for any breach or attempted attack on their virtualised systems, as relying on the host’s tools would not always highlight an attack quickly enough.

Businesses are not being discouraged from switching to a virtualised environment. Rather they are rather being cautioned as to the potential of complacency to result in damaging data loss or compromised security.

Experts predict cloud implementation for disaster recovery 2010

Disaster recovery planning became a secondary concern for many businesses last year as the pressures of the faltering world economy caused a squeeze on IT budgets. As a result many began to look to cost-effective alternatives, whilst others were force to freeze plans for improved strategies whilst a return to growth was sought.

Disaster recovery and data security expert Pierre Dorion has made predictions as to where the industry is going to head over the next twelve months and he believes that cloud computing and data outsourcing are going to grow significantly in 2010.

The resilience offered by outsourcing data storage and backup to third party vendors offering cloud computing was listed as the third most important reason behind businesses choosing to switch to the platform according to a survey released in mid 2009. With funding for IT departments still in limbo because of the economy, Mr Dorion believes that the lower cost of outsourcing compared to setting up on-site data centres will further fuel the growth of the industry.

Mr Dorion also believes that many big businesses will look to cloud computing as a way of offsetting the cost of implementing a disaster recovery strategy, as it can provide the same level of functionality without requiring the initial outlay and resources that a centralised system mandates.

Industry analyst Gartner said at a recent conference that it estimates that 15 per cent of enterprises will rely on both on-site infrastructures and cloud-based public services to ensure that their businesses can continue to run in the event of a disaster.

It is also believed that businesses will seek to automate a majority of their data protection and storage systems to lessen the impact of human error and avoid serious but avoidable instances of data loss. This will require a combination of server and desktop virtualisation, allowing users to access remotely the applications and files with which they are familiar and allowing for home working if, for example, the travel infrastructure of the country breaks down again as it did during the recent cold snap.

Security and value of cloud based email systems highlighted

A leading supplier of equipment to various energy industries has shown that switching its internal email systems away from on-site solutions to a cloud-based alternative is the best way in which to improve communication and security.

Weir Valves and Controls UK Ltd took advice from a large number of firms, including analyst Gartner, before implementing its cloud-based email system back in April 2008. This replaced the numerous independent platforms that service the firm’s 300 staff working at different sites around the UK. Continue reading

Backup is Nothing Without Disaster Recovery Testing

Let’s assume for a moment that your business is a step ahead of many companies out there – you have already thought about and implemented a backup and recovery strategy. This may have included implementing a simple backup strategy, or may be more wide ranging by including other areas such as disaster recovery, workforce continuity, business resumption and contingency planning.

During a recent study by Gartner (The Broken State of Backup by Dave Russell), there were some quite terrifying statistics highlighting one key fact – a backup and recovery strategy is only worth having if it is stress tested regularly.In fact, Gartner went so far as saying that exercising Disaster Recovery Plans is the most critical aspect of any business’s DR plans (after Day One implementation).

Here are the statistics (based on a study of how successful the last recovery exercise was):

28% of all recovery tests were fully successful (all service levels were met)

This figure is staggeringly low. Over 70% of all business who have spent time, money and resource on implementing a backup and recovery strategy are happy to admit in a survey that their recovery testing failed.

How badly did the recovery tests go? Gartner’s study drilled down even further:

11% of businesses who performed a recovery test admitted that the exercise was CANCELLED, because problems could not be resolved.

Incredibly, 1 in 10 recovery tests according to Gartner, are a complete failure. Or thinking about it another way, 1 in 10 businesses who have invested valuable budget in a recovery plan are completely wasting their money.

50% of businesses said that the recovery exercise encountered problems.

Exactly half of all companies would be in a very dire situation if they experienced real life data loss. One also thinks whether these businesses are meeting any compliance obligations they may have. It must be doubtful.

The balance of 11% were not sure how the exercise went. My guess would be not very well, and not knowing implies a false sense of security.

The message is simple. Once you have implemented your backup strategy – whether using traditional tape or an online backup service  –  it is essential to perform regular disaster recovery tests to ensure that every single server can be recovered within your RTO (Recovery Time Objective).

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
  • Fujitsu
  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
  • Meadowvale
  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
  • PKR

Sales question? Need support? Start a chat session with one of our experts!

For support, call the 24-hour hotline:

UK: 0800 999 3600
US: 800-220-7013

Or, if you've been given a screen sharing code:

Existing customer?

Click below to login to our secure enterprise Portal and view the real-time status of your data protection.

Login to Portal