Gartner: Firms have too many data centres

Multi-national companies should limit the number of data centres they have worldwide with a maximum of two per continent sufficient to fulfil demand.

Research firm Gartner thinks that global companies have too many data centres in too many countries and in order to cut costs and streamline services two per continent is more than sufficient.

"It's a fact that most global organizations run too many data centres in too many countries. This is normally the result of business expansion, either organically or through acquisition over many years," said Rakesh Kumar, research VP at Gartner. "While the logic of business growth makes sense, having too many data centres results in excessive capital and operational costs, an overly complex architecture and, in many cases, a lack of business-IT agility."

The main problems that multiple data centres cause is that many have too many organisational layers signing off on decisions and that solutions that are designed for one data centre have to be completely overhauled for another one.

Gartner identified hosted data centres as another option especially when companies are looking to enter new markets in Asia, such as India and China, with firms not having to pay for various costs such as electricity, cooling and lighting.

The research firm recognised that there will be some deviation from the twin data centre approach with firms decisions influenced by industry specific reasons such as compliance in the banking sector or risk assessments linked to the locale.

"By adopting this dual centre approach wherever possible, the whole growth strategy will incorporate a belief system that will help to create an optimum data centre topology,” said Kumar.

Data centre traffic across the world continues to rise with a Cisco report showing that it will increase three fold by 2017 with cloud data one of the fastest growing segments.