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Optimum, a leading UK data centre owner and operator has released new research* which shows that the issue of managing ‘Big Data’ will continue to have a significant impact on UK businesses, and their data centre strategies, well in to 2014. The concerns around the impact of Big Data on Data Centres were also highlighted by IDC earlier this year.

Optimum data center
Optimum, created by the original co-founders of Sentrum, commissioned the report entitled “Panic Planning – Chaos in the Data Centre” to investigate current buying trends in the sector. The report cites that 92% of large UK organisations have already migrated one or more of their data centres in the last 12 months – with the leading reason (40%) being that the organisation was in growth mode and the existing data centre was too small. Interestingly, at the opposite end of the scale, just over a quarter of respondents (26%) admitted that they had chosen to migrate as the existing data centre was over-provisioned and too large.

However, despite all these pro-active changes, it was reported that 97% of the respondents believe they are now in ‘reactive’ mode when it comes to data centre planning; making the majority of existing data centre plans largely obsolete. A whopping 85% of those questioned also cited that they expect their current data centre plans to be out of date in the next 3 years as a result of the Big Data sprawl.

Just 28% of companies have formal contingency data centre plans agreed at board level with regards as how best to deal with spiralling pressures on data storage. 55% have at least started looking at the issue; with informal plans in place, and a further 13% have what they describe as “embryonic” ideas under development.

Overall, a staggering 91% of companies expect their data centre outsourcing to increase year-on-year as a result of storage pressures resulting from Big Data. Whilst more of those who already outsource data centre requirements expect such outsourcing to increase, 28% of those who do not outsource at the moment are definite that Big Data will force them to do so in the future. Another 44% expect to “probably” be impacted.

“There is an upside to this current state of pandemonium though and that comes from the fact that UK businesses have said that they are experiencing growth,” said Terry Dempsey, Executive Director at Optimum. “However these statistics may also then suggest that an element of panic buying could creep into the sector and this worries me.”

Dempsey argues that in situations such as this, price could become the key factor in the decision-making process. “Can large enterprises really afford to take a risk with their corporate data in this way?” he continues. “If it’s a question of rapid deployment, might customers be tempted by the promises made by operators who are simply keen to build a client list in the short term?”

As the importance of data within an organisation continues to grow Dempsey says that the need for quality space is also increasing. “In parallel, there is a concern about how quickly the economy will recover so making substantial capital expenditure investment now is still difficult to justify. As a result, high specification, outsourced data centre facilities remain popular and we believe that demand will continue to rise,” he concludes.

*The survey was completed in the UK, and those interviewed were senior IT professionals that represented large organisations (250 or more employees) & took responsibility for the company’s data centres.

About Optimum

Built upon sound business foundations Optimum offers comprehensive data centre solutions that meet critical business needs today, yet can also scale efficiently to accommodate future demands.

The team offers levels of experience in the data centre sector that are second to none. Having been originally responsible for establishing both Global Switch and Sentrum, the management team is now focused on ensuring that Optimum delivers leading edge facilities, with robust connectivity and state-of-the-art security.