Lack of qualified IT staff hampers virtualisation strategies

Lack of qualified IT staff hampers virtualisation strategies

IT managers struggle with data centre virtualisation, despite its obvious benefits

Lack of qualified personnel is a hindrance to data centre managers adopting potentially money saving virtualisation strategies, according to a new report from security firm Symantec.

The report advises data centre managers to adopt a virtualisation solution in order to cope with increasing amounts of data and to help deal with levels of spending on data management solutions.

Global 2000 enterprises are spending more that $6.6bn annually on managing data centre complexity, and average data centre budgets have increased in the last two-year period by seven percent. Eleven per cent of respondents reveal their data centres are growing at 20 per cent or more a year, the report warns.

Limited funding for storing increasing amounts of data and rigid Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are reportedly the main challenges data managers face. SLAs require IT organisations to retain adequate and qualified personnel and this is an increasing problem for data centre managers, according to Symantec.

The difficulty of finding IT staff with an understanding of business issues was the key reason reported for understaffing problems, rather than budget constraints. The report found that 52 per cent of respondents believe their data centres to be understaffed and 86 per cent of respondents admitted having problems hiring qualified applicants.

The findings also show that organisations are spending more of their budgets simply on keeping the business up and running, as opposed to funding innovation and adding value to the business.

Virtualisation strategies are being used to contain costs and manage data complexities but only by 50 per cent of respondents, the report found, while just 58 per cent are implementing server consolidation strategies, the report notes.

Kevin Bailey, Symantec product marketing senior manager, said the reason many organisations are holding back from virtualisation solutions is because they h ave already spent on physical systems, and cannot justify the business necessity of investing in virtualisation to the board.

Often IT data professionals need to keep up “but they don’t have the time because of the complexity,” Bailey said. Organisations need to adopt virtualisation strategies and move away from the approach of the “throwing hardware” at the problem solution to data management, Bailey said. .

The State of the Data Centre Research report by virtualisation vendor Symantec surveyed over 800 data centre managers in focus groups and an online survey.