A new study from IDC sheds some light on the challenge that companies face when they try to manage their own datacenters. While the study is meant to spotlight technologies for data center management, it serves as another proof point for cloud computing vendors.

Datacenters are the beating heart of the enterprise, but they are also a pain in the neck:

Datacenter managers at 84% of the organizations in a recent IDC study experienced issues with datacenter power, space, or cooling capacity; asset usage or deployment; or uptime in the past year. These problems resulted in delayed or aborted application rollouts, reduced ability to support customers, and unplanned reallocation of opex and capex budgets away from strategic goals. Inconsistent and/or incomplete information reduced datacenter teams' ability to support business innovation and make maximum use of infrastructure hardware and software investments.”

But these challenges aren’t stopping the growth of datacenters. IDC says that the number will increase from 191,000 in 2011 to 202,000 in 2014.  And they are getting bigger, with total square footage increasing about 30% over the same period. Here are some of the factors driving growth:


 That downtime experienced by 84% of respondents had some major consequences:


To me, this makes a great argument for getting out of the data center management business.  Is all the risk really worth the reward? Can you afford the resources it would take to make data center management a core competency? Could you actually chuck the data center and run all your apps in the cloud? What would cross-cloud management and monitoring look like? I’ll look for your thoughts in the comments.