Data Center Priorities for 2013

Last week I was thrilled to see the Uptime Institute’s survey results regarding data center business priorities for 2013. (See CIOInsight http://www.cioinsight.com/it-strategy/infrastructure/slideshows/data-centers-business-priorities-in-2013)

In the list, respondants identified their top-10 highest BUSINESS priorities for 2013.  No surprise is that ALL of the line items dealt with thinking strategically, longer in term. In fact, a whooping 59% specifically said “Strategic Planning” was in their top 10 this year. What does this mean? We can all breathe a sigh of relief as discipline is kicking in again. For the past 5 years, everyone has been running around reactively and making do with what they had. “Doing More with Less”. Trying to apply old approaches to new problems. The problems however are different than ever seen before. It all started to change around the time of production-grade Virtualization (2007), and massive change can now be seen everywhere!

Of worthy notes from the survey;

  • After Strategic Planning at #1, the second highest priority item deals with METRICS which really implies justification for change. How do you KNOW directionally which way to go? Metrics, (and in specific NEW metrics for power, cooling, space, etc) are taking their prominent place at the business table. Metrics for the sake of change and active management, not just pretty graphs and charts!
  • In the middle of the list are items regarding capacity and associated resource planning. How to provide new processing capacity really is a function of cost, not technology. Hybrid architectures will likely combine inhouse data center, co-lo facilities, Cloud and Modular. Each has a performance curve related to cost/value. We’ll all spend a great deal of time in 2013 discussing efficiencies and deployment criteria across all of these platforms.
  • The list concludes with all of the ‘enabling’ “T”-line items; Talent, Training and Tools. How to get the right people, keep them, and equip them to succeed. DCIM is a major enabler found throughout the line items in this survey as it forms the single most significant investment in 2013 to allow strategic thinking, planning and execution.

Make no mistake, in 2013 we will all see good solid planning, with defendable approaches and measureable results. New tools will be selected and deployed to support the data center’s ‘new needs’. In 2013 we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Can it get any better for the data center community? Me thinks NOT!

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