According to research firm Gartner, data centers are coming face-to-face with a disruptive future. As noted by a recent eWeek article, technology advancements and geopolitical influences will impact the way data centers are run—vice president of Gartner, Joe Skorupa says current vendors are living in an “uneasy peace” that won't last for much longer.
As disruptive data centers force market evolution, how can you be sure your data center is up to the challenge?
Part of the emerging disruption is tied to location. In the wake of Edward Snowden and the NSA revelations, many companies are re-thinking their data center strategy. Termed “the Snowden effect,” the realization that large data center providers were compromised by government agencies is now driving businesses to seek out smaller providers that offer “white boxes” and the option to use open-source technologies.
More importantly, companies now want to know exactly where their data center is located and have the freedom to access it as required; the rise of local, colocated facilities is testament to this fact. Access to carrier-neutral, high density data centers is only one part of the equation, since companies also want the security that comes with owning their own hardware—if government agencies want access, they'll have to ask rather than strong-arming a data center provider.
Power is the second half of Garnter's disruptive equation. The research company points to disruptive technologies such as software defined networking (SDN) and Web-scale integrated infrastructure as potential firestarters for the data center revolution—if an existing provider decides to push into a new market or smaller vendors fragment the market by offering unique, customizable solutions, the entire game starts to change. What's more, the rise of cloud-based mobile and consumer apps over in-house development is already altering the demands placed on data centers.
The big constant? Power. Nothing comes for free; bigger bandwidth, better connections, and high-density hardware stacking requires serious power management. Without N+1 and 2N power solutions coupled with optimal airflow management, new technologies can disrupt company workflow along with the market at large. A future-proof data center lets you scale up rather than out, but without the worry of servers burning out early or high-density infrastructure proving too hot to handle.
Are your ready for a disruptive data center? As the uneasy peace starts to unravel, make sure there's no disconnect between expectations and reality: opting for local and open-source gives you granular control over hardware and software, while investing in a provider that makes power management a priority means you're ready to scale up as new technologies emerge.
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