Mid-sized firms leading in data centre innovation

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Mid-sized firms leading in data centre innovation

But complexity is hampering disaster recovery.

Medium sized businesses are most likely to adopt new technologies to reduce complexity and improve the management of data centres, according to a new report from security firm Symantec.

The 2010 State of the Data Center (PDF) survey of 573 businesses found that 83 per cent of mid-sized enterprises are using technologies such as cloud computing, deduplication, replication and storage virtualisation for continuous data protection, compared with 71 per cent of larger and 69 per cent of smaller businesses.

However, cloud-based initiatives remain somewhat underused, the survey found.

Only 38 per cent of respondents include such solutions in disaster recovery plans, despite 81 per cent of businesses claiming that backup and recovery on data centres are key initiatives for 2010.

Additionally, 85 per cent of businesses surveyed said that security is a key consideration for 2010, while 80 per cent said that continuous data protection is another primary focus.

Gareth Fraser-King, European product marketing director at Symantec, said that he was not surprised to see these areas remain key to busines plans for the coming year, but added that the growing size and complexity of datacentres is causing problems for some.

"With the [amount] of data being stored increasing all the time, the management of data centres is becoming ever more complex, making it harder for firms to carry out disaster recovery scenarios without disruptions," he said.

As such, one third of firms questioned admitted that they had not re-evaluated their disaster plans in the past 12 months, while half claimed that they are either 'somewhat' or 'extremely' understaffed to cope with issues arising in the data centre.

Fraser-King warned that a shortage of data centre specialists owing to the pressure on IT managers to cut costs could affect the ability of firms to cope with any data losses.

"As chief information officers increasingly see things like disaster recovery as a 'nice to have' option, there is a danger that there will be a shortage of staff able to properly maintain and manage data centres, which will leave firms unprepared should anything happen," he said.

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