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Trends in Operations for 2011

According to a Gartner survey the top trends in data centers are Client Computing, Server Platforms and Storage Evolution. Cloud Computing, Virtualization and Mobile are seen as the top three technologies for operations in 2011.

According to Gary Thornton, Technical Director at CNet Training, based on a 5-years survey of data center managers (account required), 60% of the companies consider that the data center must be “fit for purpose” in order to provide secure and continuous services, while 70% of them see resilience as the most important factor when choosing where to locate the data center. If so many managers see as necessary to make their data center to be fit for purpose, it may be important to know the current data center trends.

Phillip R. Sargeant, Research VP at Gartner, held a webinar entitled “Top 10 Trends for Infrastructure, Operations and Data Centers” (account required), presenting the major trends in operations for 2011. According to Sargeant the top trends for data centers (PDF) are:

    1. Client Computing
    2. Server Platforms
    3. Storage Evolution
    4. The Network
    5. Fabric Computing
    6. The Next Generation Data Centre
    7. Database Management Systems
    8. Virtualization - Just the Beginning
    9. Your Journey to Cloud Computing
    10. IT Operations & Maturity

Sargeant also presented the results of a survey made in Australia during the last year summer showing the technologies that companies are interested to invest in in the future, the first three being server virtualization, application consolidation, and blade servers. It is to be remarked that 97% of the respondents are looking forward to buy virtualization technology, showing the strong trend towards cloud computing:


Other interesting points of the survey presented by Sargeant are:

  • 42% of enterprises surveyed plan to “begin or continue investing in cloud computing in 2011”
  • Those interested in cloud computing are doing it for CAPEX/OPEX savings (33%), and to improve business agility (20%)
  • Virtualization is considered the main solution for data center modernization by 18% of the respondents, while 16% see network virtualization fit for that purpose
  • A list of top technologies used to manage data centers include: server virtualization (15%), server management tools (14%), storage consolidation (13%) and network management tools (12%)
  • For power cooling solutions the responded chose: server or storage virtualization, server load balancing, power measurement tools and asset management
  • 63% of Australian enterprises surveyed use data center outsourcing compared to 70% world-wide

Cloud computing has become the most important technology for operations coming from nowhere in 2008, to rank 16th in 2009, to 2nd in 2010, being 1st in 2011. While virtualization has been considered as important for the last 4 years, mobile technologies have jumped to 3rd place from 12th where it was 2 years ago:


These surveys are valuable to establish what data centers managers deem as important, their decisions determining where data centers are moving to, setting up trends for the near future of operations technologies.

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