Unveiling Major Trends in Data Center Technology

By CIOReview | Friday, July 8, 2016
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The growing demand of IT as a service (IaaS) combined with the need to reduce the cost and complexity has driven software-centric data centers to the brink of transformation. Gone are the days when companies would set up spacious data centers and invest heavily toward enhancing unnecessary infrastructure. In today’s world, data centers emphasize on maximizing the efficiency by offering modular equipment, virtualization, and customized cooling. The paradigmatic shifts have given serious reasons for organizations to migrate data centers to leased co-location facilities and public cloud. This has been followed by a string of trends that will bring a tremendous impact on the future of data center.

Physical Infrastructure and its Safety

IT and facility teams can achieve success by focusing on building or transforming their data center infrastructure to enable agility and measurability through operational efficiencies, ultimately ensuring readiness for future business requirements.

The easiest way to build a quick and manageable data center is by effectively utilizing the operational efficiency within the physical infrastructure. Creating a  data center that help meet today’s parameters—enabling thorough optimization of operational efficiencies and resources maximization— offers license to bolster the overall  data capacity and  management at cost effective rates. Most of the companies follow the usual method of enhancing the present data center efficiency to build.

One of the ways to accomplish this objective is by investing in befitting physical infrastructure. For instance spending on air sealing solution, thermal containment, ducting or other solutions can assist in separating hot air from cold. It is obvious that better sealing offers better way to improve capacity management and energy efficiency.

Another method is the deployment of Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) into data center operations, it helps  gain specific and actionable insights about how and where to enhance centralized repository by monitoring and gauging power, cooling, space utilization, plus asset, and connectivity tracking.

Demand Data Access

Previously, data centers concentrated mainly on storage information and disaster recovery. Enterprises needed a suitable environment for backup and data was retrieved sporadically. Now the limelight is on analyzing and processing data for on-demand access. The emerging wearable technology and mobility creates the demand for latency that never existed before.

Data centers need to be more efficient and achieve higher density. From a service provider and co-location point of view, there will be a tremendous advancement in providing distributed computing. The large wave of growth will be found in point of presence (PoP) data centers, supporting network virtualization, and software defined networks. A combination of growth inside PoP and co-location will increase the need for interconnecting between service providers.

Hyper-convergence

Many organizations use high-speed growing architecture called hyper-converged infrastructure to implement cloud computing in the data center. This architecture firmly fused with storage, computation, virtualization, and networking has been able to allure many enterprises with its potential value. Majority of the enterprises consider hyper-convergence to be the most important technology because of its capability in eliminating barriers between storage, servers, and networking resources. These key functionalities have been assuring faster deployment, easy management and operations, cost savings, and offering greater elasticity and scalability. Today numerous firms are optimizing hyper-convergence. It is essential to fill the gap between virtual networks and physical infrastructure, and it is done by hyper-converged infrastructure management platforms offering combined view.

Data Centers to Utilize IoT Technologies

The incorporation of smarter technologies into the data center enables facility managers to keep the track of time status of components and geographical measurement to ensure smooth flow of operations. Sensors that gauge temperature, humidity, and electricity are integrated with network monitoring to assist data centers keep up high level of up time and slash the capital and operational expenses. Data centers will contain platforms, available to leverage IoT that mainly focuses towards integrating data from various sources to keep their computing facilities functioning at optimum capacity.

Software Driven Infrastructure

Another formidable trend in the world of data center is the software defined infrastructure that is virtualized and delivered as service. Virtualization has many benefits including advanced testing, easier backups, and high-speed redeployments. The debate on the feasibility of software driven infrastructure is never ending, especially retrieving the data from the storage in virtual environments. However, latest virtualization technologies are looking to enhance the performance of virtualization in the data center.

Virtual storage area network (VSAN) is one of the latest technologies. Recently, VMware announced its VSAN, a software-defined storage system designed into the hypervisor. A virtualization tool, like VSAN aids to improve flexibility and automates the activities in the data center.

Flash Storage

The use of flash in the data center has increased in recent times; it is expected to grow even more in the near future. The flash storage is included in the server to enhance spinning disks or to swap the disks.  Flash capacities larger than disk drives are expected to release and awaited for big price cuts from large enterprise storage companies. Ultimately, the flash used in data centers will simplify performance tuning and makes life easier by eliminating disk drive failure.

Colocation

Most of the enterprises are looking for ways to reduce the cost associated with IT infrastructure and invest it on evolving ventures such as software development and data analytics. The answer to the cost effective IT infrastructure is Colocation. It provides economical options for enterprises that are looking to spend reasonably on new data centers. Aspects like scalability, security, and maintenance make colocation a cost-effective business model. This form of cost-effective IT infrastructure is estimated to advance from its present $22.8 billion in spending to a $36 billion business all over the world by the end of 2017, as per the  new report from 451 Data Center Research. The study also predicts the  growth of global collocation footprint to 75 percent while global revenue will increase by 63 percent. “Colocation offers an alternative to pay only for what is being used, without worrying about the costs of building a new facility, or wasting space in current one,” suggests an excerpt from a blog post from data center operator OnRamp

 

Developing Block Scalability

Enterprises would want to implement the architecture used by large cloud giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon that is why they look for highly responsive and flexible IT environments to meet the business requirements. However, they will not be willing to give up the flexibility they’ve grown accustomed to with the traditional architectures and technology. Infrastructure that enable building-block scale, with the equality of resiliency and redundancy using software-defined approaches will be well-accepted than those with scale aspirations.

Automation of Activities

Automation of data center management activities will become the standard model to reduce human efforts and lessen errors as well as offer rapid response to equipment failures. There will be a change in the way how infrastructure and operations teams manage IT environments with the launch of fool proof instructions such as using IP discovery for automatic validation. Today, administrators are required to incorporate latest skills and get accustomed to the new environment, avoiding repetitive tasks like provisioning storage.  Organizations now focus on automation, API integrations between technologies, user experience and how to integrate the new skills with the old.

Cloud-based solutions

Today’s IT application is merged with cloud infrastructure. The strategy that data centers incorporate will provide the greatest predictability to data center managers. The new data center strategy involves integrated approach, along with the association between business and IT teams. When the goals are crystal-clear and positioned, enterprise can move on to a hybrid data center that not only prioritizes the business but also enhances agility, security, and IT performance.

Inference

The future of data center looks very promising; there have been major firms that are contemplating to take a huge step away from managing their own data centers and completely getting into the cloud. Many organizations are able to perform well with cloud based solution by balancing performance and simplicity of the public cloud whereas other companies are still concerned with cloud security and cost. As cloud based solutions become more secure and less expensive, organizations tend to use data centers that are basically cloud-based.  With so much of hype around, it’s interesting to see how the data center will flourish and transform over the next few years.