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EXCLUSIVE: As IT becomes critical, more dependence will be placed on datacentres, says NextDC

Future-proofing the datacentre should be a core focal area for end user organisations, according to datacentre vendor, NextDC.

It claimed that as IT becomes more critical, more dependence will be placed on the datacentre facility.

Mobility a godsend and a nightmare

In a recent report (as part of the 2012 Australia datacentre study, which surveyed 300 Australian CTOs, CIOs, and facility managers) commissioned by NextDC and conducted by IDC, it indicated more organisations are moving away from owning and managing their own datacentre facilities and preferring to lease floor-space from third-party providers specialising in co-location services.

NextDC CEO and executive director, Craig Scroggie, said the company got involved in the study as its customers were requesting a list of the most important things to look out for in a third party datacentre provider.

"This real-time analytics is making it easier for our customers to manage their infrastructure, ensure they get all of the security requirements they need and that they have the audit logs in place," he said.

IDC Australia head of research, Matthew Oostveen, said the main drivers for adopting third-party datacentres were rising costs, redundancy, and increased power demands.

The IDC report said 24 per cent of respondents mentioned high CAPEX costs to build or upgrade datacentres as the primary reason behind using a third-party datacentre; 16 per cent of respondents highlighted redundancy and as did a similar number increasing power demands.

Oostveen said energy is the key design point for the datacentre - now and in the future.

IDC estimated the energy expense associated with powering and cooling the worldwide server installed base increased 31.2 per cent over the past five years. The scale of this increase is more apparent when placed in the context of the overall server market.

In 2009, the server energy expense represented $32.6 billion, whilst the server market generated $43.2 billion.

"The major challenge faced by datacentre managers today is that they lack a comprehensive understanding of their datacentres' energy environment," Oostveen said.

"To operate efficiently, there is a need for visibility into how and where power is being consumed by IT systems across the environment and whether or not there is adequate cooling capacity that is correctly provisioned to the IT loads."

Oostveen said it is vital appropriate steps are taken to ensure the selected provider can offer a facility that meets the needs of the organisation today, whilst allowing for growth and the inevitable advances of technology.

He recommended businesses include datacentre infrastructure management software, mobility, high levels of power availability, new workloads, floor weight loading and sustainability in future tenders and RFPs, as well as select a datacentre provider with multiple geographic locations across broad regions to avoid downtime in the event of a disaster.

Scroggie, highlighted three avenues that businesses should adopt within the datacentre space:

  • Get a better operating model, ensuring that customers don't have to spend large amounts of capital going into an OPEX model.
  • Ensuring customers pay for what they consume.
  • Having real-time data analytics to help customers make informed decisions about their footprint, power usage and equipment.

"The role of channel partners is important as they can not only sell datacentre facilities but also make margins out of services like bundling telco services, managed services, a combination of application-as-a-service or software or infrastructure-as-a-service," he said.


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