COVID-19 pandemic negatively affects data center operations: Survey

With nearly 80% of respondents in a recent survey, conducted by StorONE, indicating that they have had cuts to their IT budgets, the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in a negative impact in organizations? abilities to manage their storage infrastructures in order to ensure continued access to an increasingly remote workforce and to satisfy health protocols put in place to protect workers.

More than two-thirds of those questioned as part of the StorONE ?How Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Data Center?? survey, maintain some level of on-premises storage. Because of the pandemic, almost 40% of those organizations have had no or critically restricted access to their data centers to address storage hardware failures or increase data protection levels, such as improved drive redundancies or snapshot intervals. Reduced budgets mean that organizations will be unable to offer more performance and capacity to their users or will need to rely on better vendor pricing to supplement their needs.

Among the survey?s findings are:

  • 20% of organizations have not had any access to their data centers, meaning that any physical hardware failures have had to wait. Another 20% have had restricted access to only allow work done in critical instances. The remaining 60% have been able to maintain moderate access with established maintenance windows and limited workforces.
  • A third of have those been forced to go to the data center to replace drives despite health risks. 12.5% of respondents indicated that they have had to live with the risk of data loss due to access issues, while another 12.5% have leveraged hot spares for their failed drives.
  • 20% of organizations had restricted access to storage systems remotely during the pandemic, with 12% experiencing constrained remote administration capabilities due to hardware limitations. Another 12% had no remote administration during the pandemic with connections that either failed or were impractical.
  • 33.3% of respondents said they had to count on their backup system for improved data protection levels, with 20.8% not able to enable any improvements to protection levels and 16.7% unable to afford the performance impact required of increased data protection.
  • 16.7% of companies cut their IT budgets by more than 50%, with 45.8% cutting budgets between 10 and 25%. 4.2% cut budgets between 25 and 50%, 16.7% cut by as much as 10% and 16.7% reported no cuts to their IT budget due to Coronavirus.
  • To deal with reduced budgets, 40% of organizations are hoping for better pricing from their existing vendors, 30% will seek out other vendors that provide lower prices, and 30% will stand pat without increasing services to their users.

?While some organizations have been able to weather the storm of this unprecedented event, the negative impacts of COVID-19 on storage infrastructures are already being felt by a large majority of companies throughout the world,? said Gal Naor, StorONE co-founder, and CEO. ?IT has long been expected to do more with less, but these survey results show that data is left unprotected and unavailable in many instances due to lack of access to physical hardware or severe budget cuts. Companies cannot afford to risk their data regardless of the current issues at hand. Organizations need to implement a solution that will allow them to take existing servers and storage to create a near-zero additional cost system complete with data-protection services. A storage system with these capabilities ensures mission-critical information is always available, immediately recoverable and remains durable during times of crisis.?

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