Less than a third of data centres use ITIL

28 Aug 2007

Almost half (49pc) of organisations are not able to track changes across physical aspects of their data centre including space, power and cooling and less than one third (29pc) have implemented ITIL, a survey by the Aperture Research Institute (ARI) has found.

ARI researched 100 data centre organisations in the UK across a range of industries including banking, government, insurance, healthcare, data services, retail and telecommunications.

The survey found that organisations are not adequately documenting the physical layer of the data centre. More than half (54pc) of respondents have experienced between one and five outages at the physical level, while 64pc struggled with the quality of configuration information, describing it as average to fair, with a further 5pc admitting that configuration of information was poor.

Compounding these concerns, the survey showed that respondents lacked confidence in the accuracy of the data in their configuration information. Almost two thirds (62pc) thought that more than 10pc of their information was incorrect. Only 38pc of data centre managers believe their configuration information is over 90pc accurate, and 8pc confessed that they can’t trust half of their configuration information.

Slow implementation of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) was found to be one reason for inaccurate data, with data centre managers admitting to using between three to five different systems to store configuration information. Consequently, it is difficult to aggregate information onto a single view. Just 6pc of data centre managers surveyed use a single system to document everything, while only 29pc of data centre managers surveyed said their organisations had ITIL initiatives in place.

“At a time when high-density equipment is becoming widespread, the availability of power and cooling information in the data centre dictates its absolute limits on capacity. Without reliable configuration information, data centres are increasing the risk of power outages and bad capacity planning,” said Steve Yellen, principal of the ARI.

“The disparity between IT and data centre facilities in implementing good ITIL practices has created a situation where high-density equipment is not being managed to appropriate standards. If this continues, the number of disruptions in service will increase and costs will continue to rise.”

ARI was established by Aperture Technologies, the leading global provider of software for managing the physical infrastructure of data centres and is the first organisation dedicated to researching data centres.

By Niall Byrne