IDC: Retrofit, Renovate or Upgrade – The likely path for Australia’s end user datacentre owners 

Sydney, Australia. Although the supply side of the Australian datacentre market is booming with around $2 billion in investments announced in the first six months of 2011, the demand side is an equally dynamic and transforming market.

IDC's recently released "A Demand-Side Survey of the Australian Datacentre Landscape" (Jun 2011 Doc #AU8627728T) shows that unlike the co-location, hosting, and cloud service providers (SPs) building out enterprise-level Greenfield datacentres, end user organisations which own and operate a facility are set on a path of retrofitting, renovating, and upgrading.

"Although the Australian end-user datacentre landscape is dominated by a high volume of server rooms and closets, the majority of IT spending goes into a highly concentrated percentage of enterprise and mid-tier facilities," says IDC senior analyst, Trevor Clarke.

"Whilst we are witnessing significant change in the supply side of the market with some large bets being placed by datacentre SPs in 2011, the demand side will move at a slower pace and most organisations will upgrade existing facilities instead of building afresh in the next three to five years."

IDC's research shows datacentre age, power, and cooling will continue to be pain points in Australian end-user organisations and that the vast majority will look in to rack-, system-, and facilities-level solutions to retrofit, renovate, or upgrade their existing facilities.

"There are just over 90,000 end-user organisation datacentres in Australia and the average age of these facilities is 7.7 years," said Matt Oostveen, associate director at IDC. "There is still a marked gap between the infrastructure we place in our datacentres and the way we manage it, which can be in part explained by the separation of IT and facilities functions."

"Convergence of the IT and facilities departments is happening in some progressive organisations, but further integration is required for greater efficiencies to be realised," said Oostveen.

IDC defines an enterprise facility as the primary server location for an organisation. This is a very large room often in excess of 5,000 sq ft and has advanced cooling systems, redundant power, and is protected by multiple levels of physical and digital security.

"The Public and banking, finance, securities and insurance (BFSI) sectors make up just 18% of all datacentres in Australia but account for over 53% of all IT spending," said Clarke. "The mid-tier and enterprise facilities within the public and BFSI sectors constitute less than 1% of the total number of datacentres across the country but surprisingly make up more than 35% of all IT spending going onto the DC floor, or just over A$1 billion for 2010."

The recently published report, "A Demand-Side Survey of the Australian Datacentre Landscape" (Jun 2011 Doc # AU8627728T) is an analysis of the results of a survey of end-user organisation datacentre owners in Australia and paints a picture of the national facilities landscape based on extensive modelling.