If Data Centers Are Understaffed, What Does That Mean For Security?

from the seems-like-a-problem dept

While I'm always a little skeptical of the numbers found in vendor surveys, it wouldn't be too surprising to learn that the recent findings that half of all data centers find themselves understaffed are at least close to accurate. About 16% of the total surveyed claimed that their data centers were "extremely understaffed," with another 34% saying they were just somewhat understaffed. Reasons for the understaffing included both the difficulty of finding qualified people for more technologically complex datacenters and general economic cutbacks -- neither of which are particularly surprising.

The bigger question is what impact this will have. Chronic understaffing in a data center could lead to serious security issues, increased downtime (decreased reliability) and certainly decreased responsiveness to problems. With many of the survey respondents also claiming they're hoping to decrease headcount even further, this could become a bigger issue going forward.

The report also claims that the survey's creators were "surprised" to find out that mid-market companies were more likely to experiment with new technologies, as compared to the big companies, but I don't find that surprising at all. Big companies are pretty resistant to change (especially if they have some big IT project that is "working.") Still, if those companies are finding their data centers regularly understaffed, it could create more difficulty in getting getting new projects successfully off the ground. So I'm curious how companies are dealing with these issues and trying to avoid problems with understaffed data centers, while still being able to try out new technologies and services.
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Filed Under: data centers, it, security


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2010 @ 9:03pm

    Not a problem

    If your security and reliability are heavily dependent on datacenter staff you have a fundamental design problem.

    Your design should be such that you *can* run a datacenter with very little staff.

    And you should be able to switch datacenters in and out of operation as easily as you can nodes in a cluster.

    I know of one company that does this. And much of the world probably uses their datacenters every day, without thinking much about it.

    The way to do this is to hire smart network and systems engineers, a better grade of developer, great ops people, and management that supports them while staying the hell out of their way.

    If you're unable or unwilling to do that, take your datacenter and company down the drain quickly, so you can free up the resources for someone not as stupid.

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