IDC warns of ageing datacentre dangers

Companies are using creaky old datacentres and spending too much on maintenance, warns IDC

Companies need to take their ageing datacentre infrastructure in hand now, IDC analyst Chris Ingle has claimed, as IT maintenance costs continue to soar.

"According to our research, the average datacentre is about nine years old, people need to start making decisions about datacentre infrastructure," he said.

The time CIOs spend "just keeping lights on" has long been a concern for many IT departments, but IDC research suggests this is on the rise. 

The company found that companies across the globe were spending $82 billion on maintenance in 2005, a figure that has rose to $131 billion last year and is set to rise again to $171 billion in 2013. Meanwhile, the amount spent on servers is set to remain constant.

He said there had been an overhaul of company infrastructures pre Y2K, but the recession hit when many of these companies would be looking to refresh. “But they can’t put the decision off much longer,” he warned.

This is a situation that could cause adoption of private and public cloud services to boom, he said: "We expect to see a move towards public cloud, mainly at the expense of private ownership, and those companies with their own servers will move towards a private cloud set-up."

Companies should also take a closer look at their applications, he added. “It's something that's often neglected. Companies look at equipment and not at whether they need to rationalise their applications.

"In the past few years, the decision has been to virtualise but companies have just moved their portfolio of applications to a virtualised workloads without taking the opportunity to rationalise their software.”

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