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Clouds, Virtualization And Fabric Convergence Top Data Center Agendas

The data center is changing and bringing new opportunities, with private and public cloud adoption, server virtualization and data center unified fabric, as well as increasing challenges with security and data governance, according to the final installment of the Cisco Connected World Report. The report, conducted by InsightExpress and representing 100 IT respondents in each of 13 countries, including China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, also found that IT professionals are creating new job opportunities through collaboration among teams in the data center. The findings are consistent with recent reports from both Gartner and IDC.

According to Cisco's Craig Huitema, director of data center solutions, there were no real surprises in the study. The top three data center concerns were security, performance and uptime/reliability. The business trends expected to affect the data center most during the next three years are the increase in data and applications, security risk management, the need to reduce costs, and distributed, mobile or remote employees.

Hitema says one interesting change in the data center is the way technology shifts are causing organizational changes: "New careers, new certifications and new jobs are being created as the next round of convergence continues in the data center."

Almost half the respondents (48 percent) expect to see new career opportunities as a result of cross-training and collaboration among formerly separate teams. A total of 43 percent said they expect new training and certification programs for IT managers, and 41 percent responded that they expect new job descriptions and titles such as data center architect and data center manager.

While only 18 percent of respondents say they are using cloud computing today, 34 percent plan to, and 88 percent predicted they would be storing data and applications in private or public clouds within the next three years. Only 29 percent of the respondents have more than half their production servers virtualized, and only 28 percent have more than half of non-production servers virtualized.

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