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Key insights from the 2018 State of the Enterprise Datacenter Report

As the datacenter, cloud, and IT overall transform for the future, it’s natural to see fluctuations in how people view these technologies. Plus, emerging trends in IT mean some tools and services will rise in popularity while others lose steam.

The 2018 State of the Enterprise Datacenter report has arrived, and it’s jam-packed with detailed statistics collected from IT professionals around the globe. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the report and see what they mean for your datacenter transformation journey.

Public vs. Private Cloud Adoption

First off, how’s public cloud adoption going? While 41% of US respondents claim they have no plans to move their workloads onto a public cloud, 50% of EMEA and APJ respondents claim the same. The difference in responses may have to do with US data privacy laws and the fact that the “big three” public clouds, i.e., Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, are all US-based. So, even if companies in EMEA and APJ want to migrate to the public cloud, they may simply not be allowed to.

Moving beyond public clouds, the world of private cloud is equally important, especially since 52% of the total respondents say they’re running one. The report defined the term private cloud very specifically; it must include self-service capabilities, automation and orchestration via APIs, dynamic scalability, and chargeback or showback capabilities to count.

Let’s break down opinions on public, private, and hybrid clouds. When asked which of the three the respondents prefer, hybrid cloud overwhelmingly beat out the two, with most criteria percentages ranging in the 50s.

Interestingly, private cloud beats public cloud in every category. Public cloud responses trended very low, with most responses averaging in the 10-20% range. That said, the public cloud’s low percentages don’t mean it’s not still useful; it may not be trending yet, but times are changing, and since most respondents prefer a hybrid, this means they do see the value in public clouds.

Database Adoption Trends and Changes

Now, let’s talk changes; specifically, how are respondents’ habits changing with time? To gauge future trends, respondents considered how their database platform adoption choices will change in the next 24 months.

Interestingly, the top five platforms, including Microsoft SQL, decreased in the 10-20% range, whereas less common ones rose. From the results, we see that regardless of popularity, platforms aren’t static, and new adoption trends are to be expected (and welcomed!)

Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Speaking of trends, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is among the top trends, and the responses demonstrate it. Hyperconvergence is a modern trend in the cloud era, and while its popularity is unquestionable, organizations have different reasons they choose to adopt it. Even regionally, the benefits of hyperconvergence vary and provide insight as to what IT leaders prioritize for their business’s needs.

In total, 67% of respondents say they either have adopted HCI or are at least open to adopting it. That leaves only 33% who don’t have plans to adopt HCI, so let’s explore why many have boarded the HCI train. Respondents were asked about the benefits they realized or expect to realize with the deployment of hyperconverged infrastructure.

Interestingly, the percentages don’t vary dramatically one feature to another, meaning much of what hyperconvergence offers is equally appealing. First on the list, though, is improvements in operational efficiency, which can take many forms depending on a business’s needs. This could refer to reduced hours per week, for example, which was calculated:

While correlative, the dramatic difference between those who have adopted HCI and those who have not gives weight to the freedom that hyperconvergence offers and corroborates the 27% of respondents who listed increased operational efficiency as the most alluring feature of HCI.

Despite the benefits, not everyone is ready to adopt HCI, and some have some concerns about moving over to a new system. Perceived shortcomings give insights as to what keeps people from adopting new technology, and when asked why some were disinterested in hyperconvergence, respondents had this to say:

Overall, the greatest roadblock to hyperconvergence adoption is comfort in what currently exists; getting started seems to be the most challenging feat. 24% are happy with what they have, 19% don’t see why they should change, 16% simply lack the time to test out new technology, and other reasons keep businesses stagnant.

Cost, however, is another major component that keeps respondents from realizing HCI benefits. 20% worry about the cost hyperconvergence poses — an interesting finding since for those that adopt HCI, 26% noted “reduced costs” as a benefit — the second largest benefit under improved operational efficiency. While many worry about upfront costs, the new model HCI is pay-as-you-go, avoiding the 3 to 5 year cost lock-in of the older model.

When implemented appropriately, HCI is transformational to IT’s operational performance and the business as a whole. To make the most out of HCI, it’s important to start small — choose one new application or VDI initiative, and start adding on slowly as these smaller projects succeed.

Conclusion

While we’ve only scratched the surface of the report, there are plenty more read-worthy facts to look at, so head over to the report to get more details into the datacenter as you know it. In addition to what this blog covers, you’ll see how the definition of “cloud” varies by position, what apps and solutions trend among companies, where companies are when it comes to datacenter maturity, and much more.

Hyperconvergence is a key topic in the report. We at Nutanix invite you to test drive it for two hours, so you can experience the technology powering some of the world’s most advanced datacenters.

The State of the Enterprise Datacenter Report is presented by ActualTech Media and sponsored by Nutanix.

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