Cloud and data centre virtualisation uptake hampered by ageing legacy systems, Brocade finds

A recent study conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Brocade has revealed that, although data centre virtualisation and cloud computing are being widely embraced, IT managers across the world are struggling to make their networks meet performance benchmarks, despite ongoing investments.

The biggest barrier to adopting these new technologies, Brocade said in a statement, seemed to be having to sustain – at great cost – ageing legacy systems.

Ninety-one percent of the 1,750 IT decision makers surveyed believe that their current IT infrastructures still require substantial upgrades in order to meet the demands of virtualisation and cloud computing, Brocade said.

This is despite the fact that organisations are in fact committed to technology investments – the report said that over three quarters of respondents claimed to have updated their IT environments in the last three years.

In terms of what the study revealed about the Middle East, Brocade said that legacy systems were causing a barrier to deploying new technologies.

“In the Middle East, although organisations are willing to invest in IT, the focus is on sustaining ageing legacy systems. This acts as a short-term solution with severe, long-term implications,” said Sufian Dweik, Regional Director, MENA, Brocade.

“Instead of being a platform for innovation, these systems only raise complications when deploying new technologies.”

As well as hampering the adoption of cloud and virtualisation, Brocade said that ageing legacy systems repeatedly fail to meet the current requirements of many businesses. The report stated that a third of global organisations admit to multiple failures every week, with 16 percent complaining of daily outages.

Lasting 20 minutes on average, these failures have resulted in SLAs (service level agreements) being missed and customers not receiving the goods and services they expected, Brocade said.

The vendor added that industry awareness about the failings of a short-term IT roadmap is required to drive investment in “future-proof” solutions. Brocade said that, despite having been available for a while now, networking technologies such as Ethernet fabrics have yet to see widespread deployment.

That said, the study did find that another new technology, SDN (software-defined networking), was finally gaining traction, thanks to the support of open standards such as OpenFlow.

“The OpenFlow protocol is one of the leading SDN-enabling technologies and is gaining increased support from the world’s most demanding network operators,” said Samer Ismair, System Engineer, MENA, Brocade.

According to the study, SDN’s benefits are perceived to be increased productivity (42 percent), better access to real-time information (40 percent), improved availability (38 percent) and increased service delivery (30 percent). Brocade added that many organisations are looking to deploy SDN by 2015.

Other findings in the report included:

-On average, enterprises are upgrading their data centre networks every two years, but 24 percent wait more than three years before investing in new technology.
-79 percent of ITDMs acknowledge that departments within their businesses have deployed cloud-based services, with 13 percent admitting that these actions would have happened with no guidance from IT.
-Three-quarters of enterprises have on-premise data centres, while 19 percent outsource.
-The average percentage of servers being virtualised today is 46 percent. By 2015, this is expected to be 59 percent.
-Sixteen percent experience daily network outages – database applications (41 percent), communication tools (30 percent) and Microsoft Office programs (25 percent) cause the most problems.
-Outages last on average 20 minutes, with two percent having to endure outages of more than an hour.
-More than a third of workers stated that outages have caused SLAs to be missed, with customers not receiving goods or services – 41 percent added that this has caused customers to seek recompense.



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