Small Companies Jump on Data Center Consolidation Bandwagon

August, 2008

(IRVINE, Calif.) The trend toward data center consolidation is gaining momentum, pushed forward this year by a sharp rise in the percentage of small enterprises actively engaged in reducing the number of centers they operate, a Computer Economics study finds.

The Irvine-based IT research firm reported that 79% of organizations with less than $350 million in annual revenue are currently engaged in data center consolidation activity, up from 56% last year.

The study also found that 68% of medium-sized companies (with $350 million to $1 billion in revenue) and 76% of large organizations (with at least $1 billion in revenue) are researching, implementing, expanding, or have already consolidated data centers. That was about the same level of adoption activity as medium and large organizations reported last year in the company’s annual staffing and spending survey of about 200 IT organizations.

“Our study shows that data center consolidation is one of the most fundamental ways IT organizations have to lower IT operational costs,” said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics. “Large data centers are simply more cost-effective on a per-unit basis.”

Scavo said data center consolidation has been growing over the past three years, but that this year most of the growth has come from smaller organizations. “Smaller organizations are now catching up with larger organizations, but we continue to see a great deal of activity at all levels,” he said.

The study found that data center costs decline on a per-server basis as data centers get larger and that IT spending per user is highest for large companies that operate multiple data centers. The report also found that more than 90% of organizations were obtaining positive or break-even ROI with data center consolidation projects.

The full report, Data Center Consolidation: Business Case Metrics, provides data on per-server costs by OS and reports the ROI and Total Cost of Ownership experiences of organizations with consolidated data centers. An executive summary is available on the Computer Economics website.