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Businesses See Managing Data Center Complexity as Most Effective Way to Improve IT Efficiency, Avocent Survey Finds

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Avocent Corporation (Nasdaq: AVCT), a global leader in IT Operations Management, today revealed results of an independent survey that showed companies are seeking better visibility into their data center operations to help mitigate business continuity challenges, better manage virtualized systems and applications, and control power consumption and overall complexity.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Avocent Corporation (Nasdaq: AVCT), a global leader in IT Operations Management, today revealed results of an independent survey that showed companies are seeking better visibility into their data center operations to help mitigate business continuity challenges, better manage virtualized systems and applications, and control power consumption and overall complexity.

The survey was conducted in spring 2008 by Actionable Research, Inc. for Avocent and polled 299 executives and IT managers in the U.S. in manufacturing, high technology, retail, banking, healthcare, education and government, asking them what they found to be the top challenges in aligning IT with business objectives.

"Our survey confirms that businesses are indeed challenged most by the need to effectively manage the increased complexity in today's data centers, while at the same time keeping networks running smoothly, and power consumption costs down," said Ben Grimes, Avocent CTO and vice president of corporate strategy. "The findings further tell us that many administrators lack the tools they need to properly manage power usage in data centers — only 55% say they can monitor power usage today, and even then it's mostly at the UPS level. These statistics show there's a huge opportunity to improve overall data center management and a strong desire to implement 'Green IT' solutions."

Monitoring and managing power usage is a leading concern

Survey respondents said that energy conservation was the most difficult issue to resolve with their current tools. Respondents felt that managing the total cost of power was the second most difficult task, and many of the respondents noted that their interest and work with virtualization technology were influenced by the hope of ultimate energy savings. Some of the survey results regarding energy usage:

— 33% of companies have implemented server virtualization for energy-saving goals.

— 55% of companies can measure power usage in their data center, primarily at the UPS level.

— 83% consider the ability to measure power consumption at the entire data center level as "valuable" or "extremely valuable."

Virtualization: Lost or failed virtual servers are an issue

While respondents said they had begun to move toward server virtualization, mainly for its cost reductions and energy savings promised, they also revealed that the technology offered unique challenges. A majority of respondents have rolled out some level of server virtualization, but, of those respondents, 24% have experienced a disappearance of a virtual server from their system. Furthermore, 18% have permanently lost a virtual server. The top reason for deploying virtual servers was for cost savings. In particular, of those polled, 32% stated they initially looked to virtualization as a means of decreasing hardware costs. Their responses, however, showed two key concerns related to managing server virtualization:

— 45% said they had concerns about the lack of expertise that IT personnel had with virtualization.

— 44% said they were concerned that virtual servers could fail from a component failure in a single physical server.

100% network uptime: Still not there

Business continuity, in the form of network uptime, is a constant challenge for those polled. There are potentially significant costs tied to downtime, including disgruntled or lost customers, reduced worker productivity, and reduced revenues tied to network failure. Survey responses related to downtime include:

— 35% of companies have lost mission-critical data due to unplanned downtime.

— 43% of companies reported that they experience, on average, up to five unplanned downtime events per month. Of those, 17% experienced two to four hours of collective unplanned downtime per month, mostly due to hardware or power failures.

— 86% of companies stated that any unplanned downtime causes a business issue, and an average of 12% lost employee productivity due to those unplanned events.

Budgets — Doing more with existing resources

The survey also found that businesses want to do more with the same or fewer IT resources. Those polled say their organizations planned to maximize use of their existing servers and other equipment to the fullest extent possible, through the end of 2008. For 2007, respondents reported that IT budgets included an average of 39% going toward equipment and technology, and 36% toward personnel. These numbers were consistent across the different segments in the survey, with the largest companies spending slightly more on personnel than others. According to respondents, for 2008, there is little or no projected budget distribution change, both overall and among companies of similar size.

The survey provides insight into the nature of challenges companies face when managing complex system, network and data center challenges, as well as the unique issues faced when integration between dissimilar networks is necessary. Regardless of the specific case, it is clear from survey responses that issues relating to data center complexity will continue to shape many of the data center decisions made throughout the remainder of 2008 and beyond.

A full copy of the survey is available at the following URL: http://www.avocent.com

About Avocent Corporation

Avocent delivers IT operations management solutions that reduce operating costs, simplify management and increase the availability of critical IT environments 24/7 via integrated, centralized software. Additional information is available at http://www.avocent.com.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains statements that are forward-looking statements as defined within the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made, including risks associated with general economic conditions, risks attributable to future product demand, sales, and expenses, risks associated with acquisitions and acquisition integration, risks associated with product design efforts and the introduction of new products and technologies, and risks associated with obtaining and protecting intellectual property rights. Other factors that could cause operating and financial results to differ are described in our annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 21, 2008. Other risks may be detailed from time to time in reports to be filed with the SEC. Avocent does not undertake any obligation to publicly update its forward-looking statements based on events or circumstances after the date hereof.

SOURCE Avocent Corporation

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