Uptime Institute Releases Results of 2019 Data Center Industry Survey

SEATTLE, WA — The Uptime Institute has published the results its 2019 Data Center Industry Survey, one of the most highly anticipated publications in the sector every year. Major themes and findings in the 2019 survey results, as listed in the Executive Summary, include:

  • Privately owned enterprise data centers are expected to run half of all workloads in 2021.
  • Just over a third (34%) of all respondents had an outage or severe IT service degradation in the past year, while half had an outage or severe IT service degradation in the past three years.
  • A lack of visibility, transparency and accountability of public cloud services is a major concern for enterprises with mission-critical applications. A fifth of operators surveyed said they would be more likely to put workloads in a public cloud if there were more visibility. Half of those using public cloud for mission-critical applications also said they do not have adequate visibility.
  • Improvements in data center facility energy efficiency have flattened out and even deteriorated slightly in the past two years. The average PUE for 2019 is 1.67.
  • Kilowatt (kW) rack density is rising, following a long period of flat or minor increases, causing many to rethink cooling strategies.
  • 10% of all respondents said that their most recent significant outage cost more than $1 million USD.
  • The data center sector continues to be dominated by men. Only 5% of respondents said women represented 50% or more of staff, while a quarter had no women at all among their build, design or operations staff.

However the line item receiving the most headlines is has to do with a perennial Trojan horse in the data center industry — recruitment and retention. Uptime actually deemed the issue officially a crisis — 61% of respondents said they had difficulty retaining or recruiting staff — up from 55% a year earlier.

“We all know that that the data-center skills shortage is real. I think what we’re seeing in this data is that it’s getting a little worse,” said Andy Lawrence, executive director of research at Uptime Institute, in an interview with Network World.

“It’s ever present,” added Chris Brown, CTO of Uptime Institute, who stressed the need for outreach. “In the data-center industry, we really haven’t marketed out to the society at large, who we are, what we are, how important we are, what careers are available, and that those careers are here to stay.”