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Cloud Use Rises, Mainframe Usage Declines as Data Centers Grow and Green States Survey


ORANGE, Calif., March 31, 2011 - AFCOM, the world's leading data center association, today announced the release of “The State of the Data Center,” a status report on data centers highlighting results from a survey of 358 data center managers from around the world. AFCOM conducted the survey to reveal how data centers are adapting to the most critical challenges, technologies and economic factors. This latest report proves top issues include the demands of space, energy efficiency, and physical and logical security.

Key findings in the report include:

  • Data Centers are Not Prepared for Disasters: More than 15 percent of respondents said their data center has no plan for data backup and recovery. 50 percent have no plan to replace damaged equipment after a disaster; two-thirds of all data centers have no plan or procedure to deal with Cyber Crime.
  • Growing Cloud Adoption: There has been significant growth in the adoption of cloud computing. Last year, only 14.9 percent of all data centers had implemented the technology. Today, that percentage has grown to 36.6 percent, with another 35.1 percent seriously considering it. AFCOM believes that cloud computing will continue on this trajectory for the next five years, with 80 to 90 percent of all data centers adopting some form of the cloud during that period.
  • Demise of the Mainframe: While historically one of the most critical elements of any data center, today, mainframe usage continues to shrink. While AFCOM predicts mainframes will exist forever in some capacity, their prevalence has been severely diminished.
  • Web Application Proliferation: In AFCOM’s survey, 86.6 percent of all respondents reported an increase in the number of web applications they are running today as compared to just three years ago.
  • Bigger and Better: Even in a down economy, data centers have been expanding in size with 44.2 percent occupying more floor space that they did three years ago. Another 49.4 percent are currently in the process of expanding or are planning to in the near future. Only 16.4 percent have downsized.
  • Greening the Data Center: While only 3.9 percent of respondents have implemented solar power in their data center, AFCOM feels this represents a trend towards integrating renewable energy as part of making more sustainable and energy efficient data centers. While the industry is certainly concerned with the environment, they look to greening as a great way to save substantial money now and even more as time goes on.
  • Biometric Security Use: Security is always a top concern for data centers, but AFCOM’s survey found the growing use of biometric screening for authorization and access has grown, with a surprising 25 percent of facilities installing the technology to better protect their data centers.

“When it comes to disaster recovery, the survey results are indicative of the investment activity we have seen in data centers throughout the recession—focus on immediate needs with business continuity and disaster recovery planning considered a luxury,” said Richard Sawyer, Worldwide Practice Leader, Critical Facilities Assurance at HP Critical Facility Services, and member of the Data Center Institute Board of Directors. “But now, with the regional disasters in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, and the turmoil in the Middle East, we are reminded it is a management necessity to be prepared for anything.”

“In an environment where change is an accepted part of day-to-day life, it is important to recognize how data center managers are adapting to the new technologies and directions emerging in the industry,” said Jill Yaoz, CEO, AFCOM. “One of the most interesting changes our survey illustrates is the continued transition to the cloud. When we last did this survey in October 2009, very few data centers were even interested in the cloud, let alone actually adapting it. However, thanks to information such as the Data Center Institute’s ‘Guide to the Cloud’ report, now we see that data center managers are more familiar with the risks and concepts, and cloud computing is quickly becoming a new standard of operation.”

In August 2010, the Data Center Institute released its findings on cloud adoption, a trend that has continued to grow, according to the recent survey. Because of this continuing trend, AFCOM is offering yet another educational series on cloud, as well hosting as a panel discussing all of the results of “The State of the Data Center” survey, at the Spring 2011 Data Center World conference, currently being held until March 31, 2011 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.

Media interested in viewing the full survey results should please contact afcom-at-schwartzcomm-dot-com.

About AFCOM:

AFCOM (www.afcom.com) is the leading association supporting the educational and professional development needs of data center professionals around the globe. Established in 1980, AFCOM currently boasts more than 4,000 member data centers and 41 chapters worldwide, and provides data center professionals with unique networking opportunities and educational forums and resources through its annual Data Center World Conferences, published magazines, regional chapters, research and hotline services, and industry alliances.

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