Data centers—the backbone of most organizations’ computing and networking capabilities—are increasingly viewed as critical business priorities and, despite the current economic climate, receiving on-going investments to improve performance and reliability.

According to the new Global Data Center Survey commissioned by CommScope, with contributing sponsors Brocade, Eaton and Intel, almost a third (32%) of all organizations surveyed worldwide are planning or building new data centers, while more than four out of five (83%) existing data centers continue to receive investment for infrastructure and technology projects. In the backdrop of the current economic environment, almost two thirds (65%) of respondents were required to demonstrate a specific return on the investment before their data center projects were approved.

More than 730 IT professionals from 54 countries with responsibility for their organizations’ data centers responded to the Global Data Center Survey questions on trends in data center equipment, design and future development.

“It is clear that data centers are viewed as mission critical, and organizations continue to invest accordingly to ensure quality, performance and intelligence are successfully supporting business goals,” said George Brooks, director, Enterprise Data Centers, CommScope. “Whether it is to stay ahead of technology developments and new applications or to address cost-efficiency opportunities, data center expansions and improvement projects are continuing around the world, despite the economic downturn.”

Other key findings from the Global Data Center Survey:

  • Globally, more than half (54%) of the organizations installing new copper cabling would invest in Category 6A10Gb/s solutions – its high-performance and reliability are key for virtualization and consolidation, which are the main drivers of green and cost-reduction strategies and are highly dependent on reliability. Airports (86%) and healthcare (71%) are the business sectors leading the drive toward investment in Category 6A 10G copper solutions.
  • Of those respondents installing new fiber cabling in their data center, the shift to 10G and 40/100G laser optimized multimode fibers is accelerating with data centers installing OM3 at a rate of 31 percent and installing OM4 at a rate of 19 percent.
  • Data centers continue to receive investment for power and space saving technologies. They include blade servers that are more compact and energy efficient than previous types, and virtualization that allows more applications to run on each server. These result in cost savings due to a reduction in power and space requirements.
  • As additional computing resources are packed into equipment racks, data centers are moving to higher bandwidth solutions to reduce growth in cabling volume. Blade servers can decrease cable management complexity as compared to rack optimized servers. Thirty percent are already using new 10Gb/s copper connectivity solutions in the network backbone and a further 46 percent plan to do so in the next three years.
  • In horizontal network segments, 21 percent are using 10Gb/s over copper. Another 48 percent plan to upgrade in the next three years. The new, high performance copper cabling, conforming to the Category 6A/Class EA standards, offers an easy-to-install option for high performance data centers.

“The recession is not damping the demand for on-line information and applications that is driving data center expansion,” said Brooks. “At the same time, growth of image and video databases is increasing the requirement for higher bandwidth infrastructure within the data center. As servers get smaller and support more applications, connection densities and bandwidth will have to grow dramatically.”

The survey shows that the importance of performance and quality in data center infrastructure is widely appreciated. More respondents named performance (62%) and ease of maintenance (54%) as influences on their purchasing decisions than said they were influenced by price (50%).

“Improved data center performance is an efficiency driver that can help organizations fight the effects of the recession and be ready for the upturn,” said Brooks. “Physical layer infrastructure is a focus of attention since it can quickly become a bottleneck at times of peak demand. Reliable, affordable 10G and 40/100G solutions will be important to the ongoing operational and space saving efficiencies of data centers for years to come. These high speed infrastructure connections free space for other equipment and for the flow of cooling air, which was an issue of concern for more respondents (61%) than any other.”

Click here to view/download a copy of the report.

CommScope Enterprise Solutions, a division of CommScope, Inc., offers a complete portfolio of network infrastructure solutions that enable enterprise customers, regardless of size, industry or IT budget, to take advantage of business and technology opportunities. The division’s SYSTIMAX® product line offers voice, data, video and converged solutions ranging from mission-critical, high-bandwidth and emerging applications to applications that demand unrelenting reliability and quality for everyday needs. Backed by CommScope Labs, the product lines are delivered through a global channel network of industry-leading BusinessPartners and distributors, ensuring a consistent and high-level of service and support worldwide.

About CommScope

CommScope, Inc. (NYSE: CTV)(www.commscope.com) is a world leader in infrastructure solutions for communication networks. Through its Andrew Solutions™ brand, it is a global leader in radio frequency subsystem solutions for wireless networks. Through its SYSTIMAX® brand, CommScope is the global leader in structured cabling systems for business enterprise applications. It is also the premier manufacturer of coaxial cable for broadband cable television networks and one of the leading North American providers of environmentally secure cabinets for DSL and FTTN applications. Backed by strong research and development, CommScope combines technical expertise and proprietary technology with global manufacturing capability to provide customers with infrastructure solutions for evolving global communications networks in more than 130 countries around the world.

This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on information currently available to management, management’s beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently expected. For a more detailed description of the factors that could cause such a difference, please see CommScope’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In providing forward-looking statements, the company does not intend, and is not undertaking any obligation or duty, to update these statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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