AFCOM: Workloads Scale, But Staffing Doesn’t

What were the key findings from AFCOM’s new State of the Data Center survey? Some news coverage highlighted growth in cloud computing, while other stories examined gaps in disaster recovery preparations. Those are interesting trends, to be sure. But a deeper dive into the data from the AFCOM report highlighted the growing divergence between the amount of work being done in data centers and the staff available to manage that work.

The 2011 State of the Data Center report is an update of a 2009 survey by AFCOM, the largest industry group for data center professionals. The survey polled 358 data center managers on key topics and trends. The AFCOM survey is interesting because it includes data on many smaller data centers, including on-premises facilities. Eighty six percent of the survey respondents had data center budgets of less than $10 million.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the trends in data center staffing and workloads is to let the graphics tell the story. Here’s a look at trends in data center staffing, followed by trends in the growth of servers, applications and storage:

Is this a serious problem? Or will automation software and cloud computing make it easier for small staffs to manage larger and larger infrastructures? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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