Data centers growing larger, not prepared for disasters, says industry group

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Industry group AFCOM has unveiled its "State of the Data Center" survey, which polled 358 data center managers from around the world. The results offered a glimpse into the data centers powering today's Internet economy. Do note that a majority (86 percent) of the survey respondents have data center budgets of less than $10 million, so the survey is somewhat biased toward smaller data centers.

Surprisingly, more than 15 percent of respondents said that their data center has no data backup and recovery plan, with half indicating that there is no plan in place to replace damaged equipment in the wake of a disaster. One possibility is that operators are relying on the inherent redundancies and fail-safes already designed into data centers to keep things humming along. Ultimately, the poll portrays current data centers as ill-equipped to recover from larger disasters that manage to overwhelm existing systems, such as the recent 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Sendai, Japan.

Another finding is that data centers are growing larger, with 44 percent indicating that their facilities have been expanding in size compared to three years ago; only 16 percent says they have downsized. And possibly reflecting the higher numbers of servers being deployed in data centers, 73 percent polled says they have more servers now.

What is interesting is that over the same time period, statistics on staffing strength show that only 34 percent of them have grown in size, with 37 percent saying they have less staff now. Clearly, employees are expected to deliver more with less manpower.

For more on this story:
- check out this article at eWeek
- check out this article at Data Center Knowledge
- check out this article at GigaOM

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