Ten Trends Changing Modern Data Centers
Data centers have to meet new market requirements. Not only to overtake competitors, but simply to avoid equipment failures and serious problems in the near future. About what trends in IT affect the organization of the data center, changes in the hosting business in the near future are discussed in a study published by Gartner.
1. Transition to a software-configurable infrastructure
The times when the IT management of companies thought in “iron” categories are in the past. How many “our” servers are in a rack at the provider's site, how much they will need to be additionally rented for new tasks or projects, how many and which hard drives are needed - it does not matter. It is more convenient for the customer to simply select the necessary services from the list of options, paying only what is needed now. It will take additional space for data, or additional software in connection with the expansion of the business - the customer will check the boxes in front of the corresponding items in the order panel. And exactly how the load is distributed to several servers, how to organize disk space for optimal speed and high reliability - these are problems of data center engineers.
2. Continuity instead of discreteness of data backup
Previously, a data backup plan was a compromise between reliability and the cost of a turnkey solution, but now customers need the ability to restore data from any time point. Moreover - the customer is less and less willing to engage in data archiving for the possibility of disaster recovery. In the future, the task of data backup and emergency recovery will completely fall on the shoulders of the hosting provider, moreover, the technology should ensure the continuity and invisibility of these processes to the client.
3. Transition to converged networks
Servers that carry the main burden of data storage and processing invariably belonged to the company's classic IT infrastructure. Moreover, the configuration of this infrastructure in each company was individual, which made its maintenance more expensive. The future lies with converged networks, when the company has only client computers and standard network equipment that provides high-speed Internet access. The entire load on the processing and storage of information is transferred to data centers. At the same time, the company's infrastructure itself becomes universal, which provides additional savings. In fact, we are talking about the elimination of the most expensive part of IT equipment companies and the use of remote data centers.
4. Transition to disaggregated systems
This approach is the opposite of integrated systems in which various server components are densely “packed” on a single board, or even on a single chip. In fact, ideas from the world of free software, when thanks to open standards anyone can create the necessary modules, have been transferred to the world of hardware. A striking example is the Open Compute project from Facebook: specifications allow any manufacturer to create modules for servers, which makes it possible to use low-cost energy-efficient components. We are talking about the transition from the production of server vendors as turnkey solutions to the production of individual server components.
5. Bimodal software development strategy
There are several software development strategies, of which two are predominant. The first focuses on reliability, the second on the speed of creating programs. Reliable software requires a long thorough work, long testing, use only proven solutions. At the same time, a quick approach allows you to meet current trends and meet changing market requirements. A bimodal strategy combines both approaches, while reliable software is used to implement critical services, and “fast” is used for experimental technologies.
6. The development of the Internet of things
In 2012, 17 billion devices went online. By 2020, there will already be 50 billion such devices. We are talking about small sensors and devices that can not only connect to the Internet, but also form their own peer-to-peer networks that collect gigabytes of data capable of machine learning in real time. To ensure the operation of billions of such devices, gigantic capacities and services that are not even developed yet are required.
7. User hyperconnection
The range of services provided by data centers is growing towards a constant, reliable exchange of a huge amount of data. Users receive and give multimedia, devices exchange an increasing flow of data, all this requires a constant uninterrupted connection and wide channels. Providers should be prepared to serve such users, which experts call hyperconnected.
8. Distributed data centers
A single large data center, even with huge capabilities, is not able to satisfy the needs of many companies. Video delivery to users of different regions, service of trading and banking networks is much more efficiently given to distributed data centers, which have their own servers in different parts of the same country, and even on different continents. Distributed data centers are even more resistant to failures that occur as a result of natural disasters, crashes and power outages. A distributed data center, consisting of microserver, fully autonomous, or serviced by one employee each, can be more efficient and reliable than a powerful data center located on one site.
9. The growth of quantitative indicators of demand while maintaining the budget
A key trend in the hosting market is that the demand for data center services is constantly growing. There are now 14.4 billion websites, 1.3 million iPhone apps and 1.1 million Android apps available. All experts agree that these figures, regardless of the economic situation, will only grow. At the same time, IT budgets for the year grew by an average of only 1%. Therefore, data centers should provide greater productivity, greater energy efficiency and actively apply technologies that reduce operating costs.
10. Reduced customer qualifications
The times when a specialist called tech support, for example, on web servers representing the interests of the customer, pass. Now one person is increasingly responsible for network infrastructure, for the operation of the site, and for the operation of mobile applications. Saving on IT budgets inevitably leads to a decrease in the qualifications of company employees in highly specialized areas of knowledge. When developing services, data center engineers need to focus on less prepared customers, everything should be simple and clear for customers.
Summarizing the above trends, we can conclude: hosting should perform more and more functions, solve more and more customer problems, not counting on additional funds. At the same time, the owners and employees of the data centers can please that the demand for this business under any conditions will remain stable for a long time.