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Symantec: Enterprises Struggle With Data Center Complexity

A new survey by Symantec has uncovered many organizations are struggling with increasingly complexity in the data center.

The survey fielded responses from 2,453 IT professionals in 32 countries. According to Symantec, 79 percent said data centers are growing increasingly complex, with security topping the list as the chief concern. This complexity is being driven by an increase in the number of applications considered to be business critical (reported by 65 percent of participants). Other key drivers include mobile computing (44 percent), server virtualization (43 percent) and adoption of public clouds (41 percent).

Datacenter Model

For almost half of the respondents, the complexity has translated into higher costs, the survey found.

To deal with this complexity, many organizations have taken to implementing an information governance strategy. Ninety percent of respondents are either actively discussing governance or have implemented trials or actual governance programs.

"The biggest drivers for launching a governance effort include security (rated somewhat or extremely important by 75 percent of respondents), the availability of new technologies that make information governance easier (69 percent), increased data center complexity (65 percent), the growth of data (65 percent), regulatory issues and legal issues (61 and 56 percent, respectively)," Symantec researchers noted in a paper announcing the survey results. "Among the goals companies hope to achieve with information governance are enhanced security (considered important by 75 percent), ease of finding the right information in a timely manner (70 percent), reduced costs of information management (69 percent) and storage (68 percent), reduced legal and compliance risks (65 and 64 percent, respectively), and a move to the cloud (59 percent)."

Other recommendations in the report are included here:

  • Establish C-level ownership of information governance. Start with high-ROI projects like data loss prevention, archiving and eDiscovery to preserve critical information, find what you need and delete the rest.
  • Get visibility beyond platforms. Understand the business services that IT is providing and all of the dependencies to reduce downtime and miscommunications.
  • Understand what IT assets you have, how they are being consumed, and by whom. This will help cut costs and risk. The organization won't buy servers and storage it doesn't need, teams can be held accountable for what they use, and the company can be sure it isn't running out of capacity.
  • Reduce the number of backup applications to meet recovery SLAs and reduce capital expenses, operating expenses and training costs.
  • Deploy deduplication everywhere to help address the information explosion and reduce the rising costs associated with backing up data.
  • Use appliances to simplify backup and recovery operations across physical and virtual machines.

"As today's businesses generate more information and introduce new technologies into the data center, these changes can either act as a sail to catch the wind and accelerate growth, or an anchor holding organizations back," said Brian Dye, vice president of Symantec's Information Intelligence Group, in a statement. "The difference is up to organizations, which can meet the challenges head on by implementing controls such as standardization or establishing an information governance strategy to keep information from becoming a liability."

Related Reading: Virtualized Data Center Security Part 1 - Orchestrating Security for Your Cloud

Related Reading: Cisco Targets Virtualized Data Centers With New Security Offerings

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