Keeping IT cost-effective isn’t easy—and given the push to exploit new technologies to make data centers more agile and flexible, it’s certain to continue to be a big challenge. So it’s worth a look at the state of data center modernization and where we are heading.
Traditionally, enterprise IT management has focused on making data operations faster, smoother and leaner, but new technology has upended old attitudes toward expanding in-house infrastructure. Data center strategies have morphed into data-centered strategies involving Hybrid IT infrastructure. As the cloud increasingly becomes the preferred source of storage, networking and computing capacity, traditional operating models are evolving toward service-based workflows and a new form of data center that essentially has no boundaries. A growing share of IT expenditure is quickly shifting from capital expense to operating budgets. Projections show Hybrid Cloud solutions handling almost 70 percent of data and applications by the end of the decade. Vertiv predicts that data centers will likely diverge along two tracks: giant, centralized cloud facilities and distributed microcenters on the edge.
The best approach to data center modernization? Build a bridge from existing infrastructures to the hybrid cloud environments that will power the future more and more. Already, the boundaries between managed hosting, data center outsourcing, and services such as remote infrastructure management are becoming blurred. Functions like disaster recovery and business continuity are moving from "just-in-case" strategies to become integral components of hosted data center solutions.
According to IDC, 45 percent of information and communication technology spending over the next two years will focus on colocation, hosted cloud, and public cloud data centers. The total number of data centers worldwide will peak this year (8.6 million) then decline as businesses move operations from local facilities to service providers. According to Paul DeLory, Research Director for Data Center Infrastructure at Gartner, “Data center architectures are going through a radical transformation brought on by transitioning enterprise workloads…to gain the competitive benefits and differentiation that cloud and hybrid-based architectures can deliver.”
So as a key part of your data center modernization initiative, keep Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in mind. IaaS is the most flexible cloud computing model. It allows for automated deployment of servers, processing power, storage, and networking. A Cloud Services Provider (CSP) that offers a stable, scalable, secure and compliant IaaS solution can build the foundation for efficiently developing and deploying PaaS (Platform as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service), and webscale applications.
A great IaaS provider has in-depth experience in the intricacies of designing, installing, and moving your mission critical applications into a virtualized IaaS environment. For instance, Vazata reinforces our clients’ network, hypervisor and storage layers with a 100% SLA to ensure that vital applications and data are always available (our proprietary cloud architecture is called vStructure™).
As your data center modernization journey begins, make sure your CSP is an expert at managed hosting and traditional colocation, and can combine two or more types of IT outsourcing into a flexible, agile hybrid data center. Your infrastructure must grow securely, change flexibly, and respond adroitly to evolving business needs, wherever they may lead. Only then can you stay ahead of the IT agility curve for years to come.