Survey Rates IT Consolidation a Top Customer Priority

Riverbed Technology, an IT performance vendor, recently released findings from a user survey conducted at Interop Las Vegas 2010 that confirm businesses across the board are making IT resource consolidation and virtualization a top priority in order to contain and lower costs, while simplifying management chores. Of the 350 participants polled, 65 percent said they had already started to migrate to a centralized IT environment. Of these, 43 percent have begun to move ahead with private cloud initiatives that shift IT resources to the company data center.

In an illustration of the difference in end-user attitudes to private and public clouds, 32 percent of those polled cited increased security as a prime incentive to make such moves. Ensuring the integrity and privacy of company data is typically of paramount concern for risk-averse network managers and CIOs as they contemplate the move to cloud services. But clearly a private, instead of public (provider-based) implementation is easier to safeguard on-site.

Cost reduction was the main motivator for going to a private cloud environment (64 percent); lowering overall management complexity was a distant second, at 39 percent.

Respondents also reported their consolidation efforts extend to branch-office infrastructure; 14 percent are currently in the process of virtualizing and streamlining branch-office resources, and another 35 percent said they have slated similar consolidation efforts to begin sometime in 2011.

Chief concerns for end-users embarking on this migration regarding are performance, which led the pack with 67 percent of those polled; and security, at 53 percent. Much lower on the list were data availability (27 percent) and migration difficulties.

The report also uncovered a few of the work-arounds that network managers are evaluating to offset performance and management concerns. 40 percent of the respondents said they plan to implement application acceleration and performance solutions over the next year; 34 percent hope to deploy WAN optimization solutions to reduce capacity used over the same period; and finally, 31 percent plan to deploy network and application visibility systems by 2011.

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