Readers of this blog know that I have been ranting about the lack of public information about data centers—and a few other things too. Recently I had the opportunity to speak to David Appelbaum, VP of Marketing, Sentilla about a survey of 5000 IT executives conducted in July 2012 by the University of California, Berkeley for Sentilla.

The results themselves are not especially striking. To my review they tend to confirm survey results I’ve seen elsewhere. Still, they are worth reviewing. I’ve posted an Infographic that Sentilla developed to communicate the results. “The bottom line:,” reads the Infographic, “Do more with what you have”

Sure there are individual findings, worthy of noting:

  • 76 percent of respondents ranked virtualization in top three initiatives
  • 62 percent ranked server rationalization in top three initiatives
  • Private cloud overtakes virtualization as a strategy for IT growth.

There are many other conclusions in the full survey. Sentilla also held a webinar in which it discussed these and other conclusions. The webinar is archived at http://www.sentilla.com/resources/webinars/

Feel free to join the webinar and draw your own conclusions.

For my part, I was impressed by the relative balance of large and small facilities represented by the respondents. I find that many solutions promoted in the industry seem to be directed to the relatively few large users, when smaller users are more common and may lack resources to adopt cutting-edge solutions. This survey found higher levels of interest in virtualization in facilities of less than 50 racks than in facilities of greater than 250. Still the imbalance was less than I expected. Sentilla found a number of facilities housing greater than 500 racks who saw virtualization as a number 1 initiative.

Appelbaum and I also discussed how important IT personnel had become in solving energy and capacity problems in recent years, supplanting facilities staff in some instances. The survey results suggest that many of the leading initiatives could be characterized as software solutions, which cannot be implemented without understanding the data network.

Appelbaum also theorized that IT’s increased importance to business unit operations make them the logical owners of the data center and familiar to the business units that rely on data center operations.

In any case, the survey speaks for itself and is one tool that the industry can build on to make data-driven decisions.