There have been significant fluctuations in the proportion of companies that outsource at least part of their data centre requirements 43 % in 2008, 85% in 2009, 67% in 2010 and 75% in 2011 but the data centre market is now regarded as a mature sector. In fact, 18% of companies have now cited that they plan to outsource in the future, rather than spending more on infrastructure and real estate.
Data centre operators are responding to this increased demand by guaranteeing improved levels of service and providing added value through consultancy, said Franek Sodzawiczny, CDO and Co-Founder at Sentrum. According to our recent research, 54% of senior directors now expect dedicated, specialist, teams to oversee the day-to-day management of their data centre facilities, which shows that knowledge is now significantly improved.
Past energy efficiency statistics, and attitudes towards them, also make for interesting reading. The governments mandatory Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme resulted in 62% of companies starting to proactively measure the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of their data centre projects and, in 2011, 72% of companies had finally set targets for power usage, and associated power cost reductions.
According to Sentrum, over specification and under utilisation may now be the biggest problem in the data centre sector. In 2009, whilst 23% of companies cited that their data centres were over specified, in 2011 this figure had jumped to 85%.
Sodzawiczny believes that this dramatic increase is as a result of two fundamental issues: the need to accommodate any fluctuations in demand for data storage and the struggle to accurately predict future requirements. This was also further endorsed by the latest Sentrum research report, entitled Data Centre Deliberations, which showed that 17% of data centre specifications were out of date within 12 months or less, whilst the average plan remained current for just 2 years and 11 months.
As long as businesses remain under pressure to meet strict compliance guidelines, the data centre operator will continue to have to work harder to give the right advice about how to store the data whilst using less space and guaranteeing reliability and power in the most cost effective manner.