Study: Data centers under the service microscope

Up to seven hardware manufacturers within one data center make maintenance complex and expensive.

Maintaining a data center can be a costly and time-consuming task – so concludes a study by Technogroup. Seventy-eight percent of companies use different manufacturers for the procurement of their data center hardware, with 31 percent using components from between two and five manufacturers, and 47 percent from as many as five to seven providers. This inevitably results in a large number of ongoing service contracts, which have to be maintained with the individual hardware providers. “When it comes to maintaining a vehicle, for example, no one would dream of having the alternator maintained by Bosch or the air-conditioning system by Denso.” Yet with hardware, this decentral service situation is the norm and takes up a lot of resources within the company,” says Dr. Ralf Dingeldein, CEO of Technogroup. The group’s study, entitled “Report Serverwartung 2018” (“Server Maintenance Report 2018”), was compiled from a survey of 100 company representatives at the IT fair CeBIT.

The data center of the future

Altogether, 66 percent of companies do not have complete cover through long-term service contracts for the hardware they use, and could therefore benefit from third-party maintenance services immediately. Indeed, 12 percent of companies are entirely without service partners. “While the data center of the future remains a topic of discussion, there are already economical possibilities available for reducing ongoing maintenance costs with full operational reliability,” says Dr. Ralf Dingeldein. With its 250 employees, Technogroup provides manufacturer-independent third-party maintenance and comprehensive consulting to keep data networks and data centers functional, up to date, and future-proof. “Third-party maintenance,” or TPM, represents a complete maintenance service for IT infrastructure from one source. This means the dissolution of individual service contracts and the centralization of data center maintenance.

Gartner: 60-percent savings from third-party maintenance

The overall market for independent third-party maintenance in IT is growing continuously: In a study, analyst group Gartner identified that savings of up to 60 percent are possible compared to the cost of services provided by original manufacturers. Third-party providers are therefore perhaps best placed to provide the quality that is required among companies and their data centers. By 2020 Gartner expects to see a further clear increase in the TPM market of 35 percent, particularly since this will no longer be confined to data centers and it will be possible to maintain other IT modules in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications, but independently all the same. “It’s crucial to maintain a 360-degree perspective on the infrastructure as a whole, in order to be able to offer optimum maintenance. This likewise gives rise to the concept of how a data center can be steered reliably into the future,” concludes Dr. Dingeldein.