Oz to have fewer, larger datacentres

Datacentre consolidation will cause a reduction in the number of datacentres in Australia, according to Gartner. Its figures show the number of facilities dropping by 8 per cent from 2012 to 2015.

Datacentre consolidation will cause a reduction in the number of datacentres in Australia, according to Gartner. Its figures show the number of facilities dropping by 8 per cent from 2012 to 2015.

The total number of datacentres in Australia is expected to hit a high of 49,577 this year, the research house said, and will drop to 45,545 by 2015.

It's important, however, to note that only 10 of the 49,577 are classed as large datacentres, which Gartner defined as having at least 1000 racks of equipment or at least 20,000 square feet of space; 90 datacentres have at least 250 racks or at least 5000 square feet. Most of the "datacentres" included in the count are single deployments or small racks in computer rooms within smaller companies.

It is the smaller datacentre facilities that will disappear, according to Phil Sargeant, Gartner research vice president, with organisations looking to put their equipment in larger centres.

"A lot of organisations are consolidating," he said. "Some of [their facilities] are getting very old; what these organisations are looking at is hiring someone else's datacentre to host their equipment."

Organisations will use virtualisation to migrate three to five physical sites into one or two, improving datacentre economics and agility, he said.

Organisations will look to take up cloud services or buy space in datacentres where they can manage their own equipment, he said. Firms like Equinix and Canberra Data Centres will continue to build new datacentres to provide the supply. "These guys are actually building large datacentres, which are replacing small datacentres," he said. "Suddenly, it might be 10 [datacentres gone for each new one], or 20 to one."

However, organisations are feeling chary about traditional outsourcing agreements that see organisations like HP and IBM take the entire ICT requirements for an organisation and manage it in their datacentres, Sargeant said. He added that factors including high-cost structures, support issues and vendor lock-ins are behind the new distrust.

Gartner said that Australian organisations will spend $2 billion on datacentre hardware in 2012, up $1.83 billion from 2011. Sargeant pointed to constantly evolving technology, which means that a datacentre built now will not look the same as one kitted out five or 10 years ago.

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