Why Selling IT Infrastructure to SMBs Is Hard

 
 
By Michael Vizard  |  Posted 2015-07-09 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Why Selling IT Infrastructure to SMBs Is Hard
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    Why Selling IT Infrastructure to SMBs Is Hard

    By Michael Vizard
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    Number of Virtual Hosts
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    Number of Virtual Hosts

    The vast majority of respondents have somewhere between four to 10 virtual hosts. By comparison, few have more than 11.
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    Number of Virtual Machines
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    Number of Virtual Machines

    The majority are running between one and 10 virtual machines. But a significant portion of the respondents are running between 11 and 100 virtual machines.
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    Level of Virtualization
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    Level of Virtualization

    Only 33% said they have virtualized 70% or more of their servers; 17% are 50% to 70% virtualized; and 21% are at less than 10%.
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    Type of Virtualization
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    Type of Virtualization

    Nearly half (46%) are running VMware vSphere. However, 25% report they are running Microsoft Hyper-V.
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    Investments in Virtualization Software
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    Investments in Virtualization Software

    Most respondents plan to spend less than $10,000 for virtualization software. Most of the rest are somewhere between $10,000 and $100,000.
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    Size of Storage Environment
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    Size of Storage Environment

    About half have less than 20TB, and 38% have 20TB to 100TB of total storage.
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    Storage Dedicated to Virtualization
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    Storage Dedicated to Virtualization

    Half have less than 10TB dedicated to virtualization. Only 36% have 10TB or more dedicated.
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    Storage Spending Plans
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    Storage Spending Plans

    Roughly 15% have a storage area network/network attached storage replacement that needs to be done this year, while 18% will refresh their SAN/NAS in 2016 and 19% will refresh it in 2017 or later. Additionally, 13% said they don't currently own a SAN/NAS. Well over one-third have no plans to replace their storage.
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    Use of Replication
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    Use of Replication

    Almost half (49%) have no replication in place but would like to leverage it. Another 20% would like to replace the solution they have.
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    Percentage of Infrastructure to Be Refreshed in 2015
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    Percentage of Infrastructure to Be Refreshed in 2015

    Roughly 30% said they would need to replace between 10% or less of their infrastructure, followed by almost the same percentage who said that they would need to replace 10% to 50% of their server/storage infrastructure. Roughly 15% of all companies would need to replace 30% to 50% of their infrastructure.
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    Dollars Allocated to IT Infrastructure Upgrades
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    Dollars Allocated to IT Infrastructure Upgrades

    The majority of companies plan to spend $50,000 or less replacing their server or storage infrastructure in 2015. But a significant number also indicated that they plan to spend from $50,000 to more than $250,000.
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    Number of Servers Planned to Purchase
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    Number of Servers Planned to Purchase

    Roughly 30% of companies plan to purchase at least two new servers in the next six months and another roughly 20% plan to purchase at least two new servers in the next 12 months.
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    Top Data Center Challenges
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    Top Data Center Challenges

    Among the top challenges was complexity (18%), along with keeping infrastructure current and vendor finger-pointing (both tied at 16%).
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    Time Spent Keeping IT Infrastructure Current
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    Time Spent Keeping IT Infrastructure Current

    A total of 12% said they will spend six to 16 weeks a year keeping their infrastructure up-to-date, while 6% said they will spend more than four months per year just to keep their servers and storage "current."
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    Vendor Support Satisfaction
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    Vendor Support Satisfaction

    A full 66% said they are pleased with the service and support that they receive from their vendors. Only about 15% said they need better service and support from their products.
 

Virtualization adoption at small and midsize businesses (SMBs) is not as widespread as most solution providers would like, suggest the findings of a survey of 578 IT professionals from organizations with 500 or fewer employees. Potentially more disappointing for solution providers across the channel is the fact that the rate at which IT infrastructure is being replaced inside these organizations is fairly slow, according to the study, conducted by ActualTech Media on behalf of hyperconverged IT infrastructure provider Scale Computing. Roughly three in 10 companies plan to purchase at least two new servers in the next six months, and roughly 20 percent plan to purchase at least two new servers in the next 12 months. Only about 15 percent of them have a storage system replacement that needs to be done this year. One bright spot, however, is that nearly half have no replication in place but would like to leverage it. Another 20 percent would like to replace the replication tools they have. Put it all together, and it's clear that selling into the IT infrastructure market in the SMB space clearly requires a fair amount of patience. Here are key takeaways from the study.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Mike Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWeek, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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