Security tops datacenter agenda in 2010

Eighty-three percent of respondents in Symantec's survey rated security as somewhat or absolutely important. Seventy-nine percent of datacenter managers thought the same of backup and recovery, and 76% viewed continuous data protection in the same light. These protective initiatives outpaced cutting-edge technologies such as virtualization, Symantec said.

That said, mid-sized companies are adopting cutting-edge technologies such as virtualization, cloud computing, and deduplication at rates between 11–17% higher than their more conservative larger and smaller counterparts, according to the study. It also found that mid-sized companies will be the most active over the next twelve months.

Companies would do well to highlight backup and recovery as high-priority initiatives, as the report identified broad inadequacies in disaster recovery. One in three disaster recovery plans are undocumented or need work, according to Symantec. Moreover, IT components such as cloud computing, remote office and virtual servers are often not included in such plans, and almost one-third of enterprises haven’t re-evaluated their disaster recovery plan in the last 12 months.

Datacenter managers were most worried by increasing complexity in their infrastructures – something that virtualization can alleviate, given the right automation tools. The increased complexity in applications is hindering staff productivity, according to a third of datacenter professionals. Symantec advised software that supports heterogeneous environments for this reason, arguing that it could help to stop the balkanization of data sources in the enterprise.

Data complexity and volume were also issues. Deduplication – the notion of stripping out duplicate files and data sets across the network – is being considered by 71% of organizations, according to the study.

Symantec's State of the Datacenter study was produced after polling 1,780 datacenter managers in 26 countries last November.

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