Virtualisation and consolidation are 2013 business priorities for EMEA CIOs

Swiss Re One of EMEA IT decision makers planning investment in virtualisation and consolidation projects.

September 27, 2013

Swiss Re One of EMEA IT decision makers planning investment in virtualisation and consolidation projects

An independent market research survey commissioned by Riverbed Technology, the application performance company, reveals that 70 percent of IT decision makers are looking to centralise applications during 2013. The Riverbed commissioned survey questioned 400 CIOs in Europe and the Middle East about their spending priorities this year.

In France, 51 per cent of those surveyed indicated that server virtualisation was a primary concern for investment, with 42 per cent citing data centre consolidation as a priority. Additionally, 36 per cent reported desktop virtualisation as a priority, making these three areas the most common CIO spending priorities for 2013.

67 per cent of CIOs in France planning a consolidation project reported data security as the key driver for their programmes. Other reasons provided for undertaking consolidation projects included the need to reduce the cost of managing distributed servers at the branch office layer (53 per cent) and a desire for greater control of application and server upgrades (47 per cent).

Risto Wieland, director of IT at Swiss Re explained why they embarked upon a consolidation project. “We needed to simplify our network management by consolidating applications back to the data centre and removing as many servers as possible. We chose to implement a wide area network (WAN) optimisation solution from Riverbed to ensure application performance. As a result we have removed hundreds of servers from our regional data centres and remote offices, and consolidated 95 per cent of all applications to the two Zurich data centres. This has reduced the amount of time spent on network management which is a huge benefit and both local backups and backups over the WAN are now no longer necessary.”

Darius Kuzma, senior network architect at Swiss Re, added: “Centralisation has provided even better data security as there is less distributed data. Our disaster recovery procedures have improved, because we can now back-up data centrally rather than backing up locally or across the WAN.”

The study also revealed that the biggest barrier to embarking on a virtualisation/consolidation project in France was complexity, with 49 per cent of those not undertaking a project citing this reason. The costs of initial set-up as well as application performance over the WAN were also reported as concerns by 43 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.

“This study shows that more CIOs than ever recognise the importance of centralising technology and data to gain efficiencies. Although for some, barriers must be overcome before they can consider virtualising or consolidating their applications, or removing branch office servers, the results demonstrate that most decision makers understand the cost and time savings that these projects can bring,” said Willem Hendrickx, SVP EMEA at Riverbed.

This survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne, the independent specialist technology market research company on behalf of Riverbed Technology. 400 CIOs in France, Germany, Poland, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom were questioned as part of the survey.

More than 22,000 organisations worldwide depend on Riverbed to understand, optimise and consolidate their IT infrastructure, through solutions that overcome performance issues caused by distance, distributed computing, and ever increasing amounts of data. As IT organisations embark on strategic initiatives to virtualise, consolidate and migrate workloads into cloud environments, users are moved farther from their data. Slow applications, slow file transfers and inefficient websites can negatively impact the performance and success of these initiatives. Riverbed transforms IT performance by providing solutions spanning WAN optimization, storage delivery, application-aware network performance management, application performance management, application delivery controllers, web content optimization (WCO), and cloud data protection. By providing the broadest portfolio of performance solutions that deliver anywhere, any-application optimization, Riverbed enables organizations to increase productivity and efficiency, while enhancing business resilience and controlling costs.