The problem with data center growth is that traditional architecture models are simply too costly in today’s business environment. That’s why companies are bringing cloud computing and data centers together, in a variety of ways, to optimize both performance and spending. New technologies require new solutions to remain competitive and agile.
Servers are the most expensive component in data center construction and operation, yet they only work at about 20% capacity on average, with their remaining power held in reserve to handle peak loads. Excess capacity requires excessive financial investment, something that’s no longer viable for any size enterprise.
So it’s a data center evolution. Or is that revolution?
According to Cisco’s Global Cloud Index 2012-2017, almost two-thirds of workloads will be processed by cloud-based data centers by 2017. Global cloud traffic will rise to 5.3 zettabytes by then, up from 1.2 zettabytes in 2012. That’s a lot by any standards, the result of increasing interconnectivity of “people, data, processes and things.”
And it’s the case within your enterprise, just as it is elsewhere. If you thought you could just ride it out rather than figuring out how to integrate cloud computing and data centers in your IT environment, Cisco’s warning is blunt: “server and data center workloads are moving to the cloud and they’re not coming back.”
Scalability has already emerged as the foundation of future-proofing.
Customization and hybridization are necessary to develop data center architecture that supports your company’s unique needs and goals. Dell’Oro Group predicts the emerging software-defined networking (SDN) marketplace will have grown a whopping six-fold by 2018, to support both public and private cloud computing.
Ultimately, they point out, growing use of the cloud will bring new applications that aren’t necessarily dependent on any particular underlying network. Cloud computing and data centers will interface effectively no matter how much your company grows, because SDN enables scalability to previously unimagined levels. They also note SDN will be most valuable for companies operating more highly virtualized environments.
What other tactics might give you a strategic boost?
- Customer-centric solutions are a must, to assure timely response as well as security.
- Data analytics can help you react faster, diagnose and fix problems faster and identify how you can modify business processes to greater advantage.
- For some companies, data center modularity can be an effective response to the rise in cloud computing, vastly bigger data and growing adoption of distributed systems.
- Emerging green technologies can lower power consumption and costs and increase your sustainability impact.
- Prioritization is critical. No matter how badly you need to effect change within your IT environment, or if you’re fine for now but looking ahead, you can’t do everything at once. You have to consider all the ramifications of cloud computing and data centers and choose the tactics that will benefit your enterprise most, soonest.
Two Stanford engineers have just announced invention of a new cluster management tool they claim can triple server efficiency without sacrificing any reliability. This future-looking approach -- they call it Quasar – means the solutions you choose to remodel or transform IT systems will be able to handle much greater workloads without the need for data center expansion. You can grow comfortably and save money at the same time.
Servers, storage, networking, physical infrastructure – you can adapt cloud computing and data centers to enhance every aspect and every detail of your IT environment. An IT sourcing consultant can help you decipher the marketplace and craft new architectural solutions that harness the trends and technologies most likely to benefit your enterprise.
Outsourcing may be your best tactic for incorporating cloud computing and data centers in those new ways. You can capture the benefits of all the latest innovations and best practices without expensive experimenting, and you’ll be assured of flexibility to change with the times or your business needs, wherever they lead.