Asian business plays wait-and-see game with CPUs

A survey suggests that, although Intel is still the most popular choice of CPU in mission critical hardware, a surprisingly high proportion of IT decision makers are sitting on the fence when it comes to tying their company's flag to a processor's pole.

Springboard Research quizzed PB buyers from more than 1,000 companies with 500 employees or more, in the Pacific/Asia region - from countries including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan - and found that nearly 40 per cent of them were undecided when it came to processor choice.

Intel still dominates 'mission critical' platforms - defined as hardware without which the company in question would fail to operate - with half of those questioned already set on installing new hardware with either Intel Itanium (27 per cent) or Xeon (23 per cent) inside.

British chip design outfit ARM, which has made no secret of its intention to break into the desktop and server market sooner rather than later, will be salivating at the prospect of 40 per cent of those businesses remaining undecided when it comes to chip choice.

Other key findings of the white paper suggest that mission critical computing is expanding far beyond its historical definitions with 'collaborative applications' ranking third in a list of things the companies couldn't cope without.

Nearly 40 per cent of the companies questioned said they had grown their mission critical infrastructures in the last year to keep up with increased workloads, achieve better scalability, make workers more efficient and reduce costs.

Virtualisation and cloud computing are also playing an increasingly important role with 40 per cent already having made a commitment to thin client computing and another 26 per cent planning to do so in the next 12 months.

When it comes to server space, 40 per cent said they would 'scale up' to larger and more powerful data centres and 31 per cent said they would 'scale out' to a greater number of servers working in tandem.

The white paper concludes that historical methods of defining and managing mission critical workloads are expanding and modernising to include a range of needs, especially in the Asian region where a lack of legacy infrastructure and strong growth are contributing to new strategies.

As part of a broader market drive to reduce waste, lower costs and improve efficiency, leading Asian organisations are creating highly efficient virtualised foundations and processes that combine with mission-critical infrastructure to deliver different quality of service levels according to a workload’s specific needs.

"As this process continues to build momentum," says the report, "platforms previously considered unable to support mission critical workloads will become increasingly relevant in the mission critical infrastructures of Asian organisations."