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Survey Finds Companies Missing Big Opportunities to Reduce IT Infrastructure Costs Associated With R&D

SANTA CLARA, CA – September 29, 2015 — Vantage Data Centers, a leading provider of data center solutions in support of mission critical applications, today released research regarding data center labs. The research found that while most businesses have an opportunity to realize cost savings by outsourcing IT infrastructure associated with R&D, 94 percent of companies miss such opportunities by managing their own labs and potentially overpay on rent and power costs in the process.

The study, conducted by Spiceworks and entitled “Hidden Challenges of Data Center Lab Management,” surveyed more than 150 IT professionals with IT infrastructure supporting their R&D lab environments in 2015. Despite the crucial role data center labs play in R&D, the survey revealed that rather than treat data center labs with deserved exclusivity, most organizations house these environments within their core IT infrastructure.

Interestingly, while 94 percent of respondents managed their lab data center in-house, 40 percent of those surveyed indicated they do not have the time or resources to do so – meaning that a significant portion of operating data center labs are not being optimally run, or given the attention required to do so.

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents reported that their organizations’ R&D labs’ IT infrastructure runs in data center space that is shared for both critical and non-critical R&D purposes. This practice goes hand-in-hand with the common misconception that data center labs require the same backup infrastructure needed for mission critical business uses. In fact, more than 50 percent of the survey respondents reported that reliability and uptime are their highest priorities when it came to data center labs, further solidifying how widespread the misconception is. This can be a wasteful practice and can create multiple unnecessary redundancies, as most data center environments are built to be available 24/7/365, though IT infrastructure for R&D labs often does not require that level of uptime. While there are instances in which a lab may require redundancy, lumping critical and lab infrastructure into the same build greatly limits options for customization. Purpose building for exactly what is needed, and nothing more, is the key to cost savings.


Utilities Savings Opportunities for Data Center Labs

In addition to sharing data center labs with varied infrastructure, 62 percent of companies report that they host their R&D lab IT hardware in commercial offices, meaning they pay much higher retail rent and power costs than a typical commercial data center environment would offer. This can add huge additional costs given energy consumption may account for approximately 50 percent of the cost to run IT infrastructure. According to the study, this inefficiency is compounded when combined with the fact that only 50 percent of IT professionals reported knowing the energy rate their company pays. By leveraging off-site data center lab locations, companies in Silicon Valley can save 40 percent on electricity costs through a wholesale power rate as low as $.096 per kilowatt hour (kW/h), versus an average retail rate of $0.15 per kW/h. With only one-third of respondents reporting that they monitor or manage power usage of their data center lab, there is widespread opportunity for companies to realize these cost savings.

In addition to key takeaways regarding cost and efficiency, the research yielded additional insight into pain points and areas of focus for IT professionals:

  • Respondents stated that challenges they experience when it comes to data center labs include management/maintenance (41 percent), the cost of infrastructure (39 percent), the physical space required (3 percent) and the time required to configure and deploy the labs (33 percent).
  • Survey participants stated that some of the most important factors when considering a data center lab environment include security (62 percent), reliability (54 percent), ease of management (49 percent), flexibility (49 percent), TCO (47 percent) and easy deployment (47 percent).
  • With the exception of accessibility and reliability (46 percent and 42 percent, respectively), satisfaction with other data center lab factors are relatively low, indicating an opportunity for alternative solutions.

“Effectively managing limited resources is a key factor to success in any business, especially when it comes to costly data center management,” said Chris Yetman, Chief Operating Officer, Vantage. “With R&D labs data center infrastructure, many companies are missing significant cost savings opportunities available through the consolidation of disparate assets into one, purpose-built environment. For companies that need regular access to their infrastructure but don’t require the technical redundancies needed for mission critical or zero downtime tasks, co-located data centers offer a more cost-efficient solution and free IT professionals to innovate, rather than maintain infrastructure technologies.”

To view the research, please visit our website here. To learn more about lab environments and their importance to overall data center strategy, visit our video channel and corporate blog.


About Vantage
Vantage provides highly scalable, flexible and efficient data center solutions offering unique value through its commitment to exceptional customer service. Operating campuses in Silicon Valley, California, and Quincy, Washington, Vantage delivers data center design solutions engineered to meet our customers’ unique requirements in support of the most demanding large enterprises, technology companies and service providers. Vantage is backed by Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, with over $26 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital. Additional information on Vantage is available at www.vantagedatacenters.com.


Press Contact
Vantage Data Centers
Steve Lim, (408) 215-7215