Symantec: Security and Data Protection Lead, But Clouds Lag

Security, backup and recovery, and continuous data protection (CDP) are the top data center priorities this year, according to Symantec’s (NASDAQ: SYMC) 2010 State of the Data Center study released today.

The survey of 1,780 small, mid-size and large data centers found that about 80 percent of data centers rate security, backup and recovery, and CDP as their most important initiatives for 2010, ahead of even server virtualization.

Data archiving, replication, storage virtualization and deduplication were also ranked high in the survey by about 70 percent of respondents, but public, private and hybrid cloud computing was only ranked as important by a little more than half of those surveyed, coming in at the bottom of the survey.

Symantec noted a need for improvement in disaster recovery. A third of disaster recovery plans are undocumented or need work, and important IT components, such as cloud computing, remote office and virtual servers, are often not included in the plans. A third of enterprises haven’t re-evaluated their disaster recovery plans in the last 12 months.

Virtual machine protection was a top priority for 82 percent of enterprises. Respondents cited granular recovery within virtual machine images as the biggest challenge in virtual machine data protection.

The survey found that mid-sized enterprises (2,000 to 9,999 employees) are more likely to adopt what Symantec called “cutting-edge technologies,” such as cloud computing, deduplication, replication, storage virtualization and CDP, and are also more active with changes, staffing and training than small or large enterprises.

Symantec recommended a number of technologies for enterprises, including software that supports heterogeneous environments and eliminates islands of information, storage resource management (SRM), thin provisioning, deduplication, storage virtualization, CDP, non-disruptive disaster recovery testing methods, and a unified platform for physical and virtual machine protection.

HDS, HP Offer Data Center Outlooks

HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Hitachi Data Systems are other data storage players that have offered 2010 outlooks in recent weeks. One trend both companies see is a growing move toward virtualized data centers and converged networks, with data storage technology as the backbone of the convergence trend.

Automated tiered storage, security, solid state drives (SSDs), archiving and thin provisioning were some of the other trends noted by HDS. HP sees promise in SSDs and dedupe, and both companies see Green IT as an important trend.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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