Data cen­ter trans­for­ma­tion

The nexus of big data, cloud com­put­ing and en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity is driv­ing dis­rup­tion and trans­for­ma­tion in the data cen­ters

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The cloud, mo­bil­ity and big data present new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties that are driv­ing IT trans­for­ma­tion. To­day, businesses are more de­pen­dent than ever on their data cen­ters (DCs) to deliver ef­fi­cient so­lu­tions. As ap­pli­ca­tions are de­vel­oped, de­ployed, scaled up and moved, DC net­works are strug­gling to keep pace be­cause of com­plex ar­chi­tec­tures and op­er­a­tional pro­cesses. In ad­di­tion, sin­gle-site DCs have also been re­placed by a more com­plex DC land­scape that in­cludes mul­ti­ple dis­trib­uted sites as well as ser­vices in the cloud.

“The nexus of big data, cloud and mo­bil­ity is driv­ing dis­rup­tion and trans­for­ma­tion in the DCs. From be­ing locked-down fa­cil­i­ties with sta­ble and reg­u­lar work­load needs, they are now deal­ing with an ex­plo­sion in de­mand for com­put­ing, stor­age and net­work­ing power as well as the im­pact of vir­tu­al­iza­tion and cloud com­put­ing,” says Ji­ten­dra Gupta, Di­rec­tor, Chan­nels and Al­liances, In­dia and South Asia, Ju­niper Net­works.

Growth driv­ers

The over­all DC ser­vices mar­ket in In­dia is ex­pected to cross $3.85 bil­lion by 2014 from $1.76 bil­lion in 2010.

Most an­a­lysts agree that the prime driver for DC trans­for­ma­tion is the data ex­plo­sion. The amount of dig­i­tal in­for­ma­tion cre­ated an­nu­ally will grow by a fac­tor of 50 be­tween 2010 and 2020 to 40,000 ex­abytes.

Ex­plains Gupta, “What makes it even more crit­i­cal for or­ga­ni­za­tions is the need to an­a­lyze this data with the ad­vent of ad­vanced BI tools

From be­ing locked-down fa­cil­i­ties with sta­ble and reg­u­lar work­load needs, data cen­ters are now deal­ing with an ex­plo­sion in de­mand for com­put­ing, stor­age and net­work­ing power

and tech­nolo­gies. Mo­bil­ity and so­cial me­dia are also play­ing a role in the way data is be­ing man­aged within DCs. In ad­di­tion, there is grow­ing de­mand for com­put­ing power by newer ap­pli­ca­tions. This is com­pelling IT lead­ers to look for ro­bust, se­cure and dy­namic DCs.”

An­other fac­tor im­pact­ing the DC mar­ket in In­dia is the chang­ing reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments. The need for bet­ter BCP in volatile mar­ket con­di­tions and dis­as­ter-prone en­vi­ron­ments is forc­ing CIOs to relook at their DR and BCP ar­range­ments.

Newer strate­gies such as BYOD and so­cial me­dia for the en­ter­prise, and in­creas­ing In­ter­net-fac­ing businesses, are leading to more de­vices get­ting con­nected. This is forc­ing DCs to in­vest heav­ily in tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide not only the needed in­te­gra­tion but also ad­dress the chal­lenges re­lated to man­age­ment, mon­i­tor­ing and se­cu­rity.

In ad­di­tion, the spread of the In­ter­net is driv­ing the growth of

CIOs will need an ar­chi­tec­ture which can seam­lessly con­nect mul­ti­ple DC lo­ca­tions and clouds thus en­sur­ing seam­less ac­cess to ap­pli­ca­tions and ser­vices even in the event of a dis­as­ter

In­ter­net-cen­tric businesses which are look­ing at the dy­namic scalin­gout of DC re­sources and faster time-to-mar­ket.

Tech­nolo­gies driv­ing trans­for­ma­tion

Two dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies im­pact­ing the fu­ture of DCs are vir­tu­al­iza­tion and cloud com­put­ing. Aligned with the trend to­ward more pow­er­ful servers, more open ap­pli­ca­tion de­sign, and the need to ac­com­plish more with less, the adop­tion of vir­tu­al­iza­tion in server in­fra­struc­ture continues to in­crease.

As the adop­tion of cloud com­put­ing grows it is be­com­ing clear that or­ga­ni­za­tions are go­ing to lever­age mul­ti­ple cloud en­vi­ron­ments. This means the emer­gence of in­ter-cloud con­nec­tors that are open and stan­dards-based. Soft­ware-de­fined net­work­ing (SDN) is an­other tech­nol­ogy that will re­de­fine the fu­ture of DCs. SDN will even­tu­ally spawn the new con­cepts of soft­ware-de­fined DCs and soft­ware-de­fined stor­age.

In con­clu­sion, the fu­ture of DCs in In­dia will be char­ac­ter­ized by the CIOs’ need to con­sol­i­date their IT ef­forts in or­der to do more with much less, keep op­er­a­tions dy­namic to be able to scale up or down faster, and be com­pletely flex­i­ble in their ap­proach to align IT to their busi­ness strate­gies.

“This will re­quire CIOs to look for fea­ture-rich DC au­to­ma­tion to help elim­i­nate op­er­a­tional com­plex­i­ties for net­work pro­vi­sion­ing, man­age­ment and or­ches­tra­tion,” states Gupta. “They will re­quire a net­work ar­chi­tec­ture that can keep pace with server vir­tu­al­iza­tion, hy­brid clouds and SDN trans­for­ma­tion. They will need an ar­chi­tec­ture which can seam­lessly con­nect mul­ti­ple DC lo­ca­tions and clouds thus en­sur­ing seam­less ac­cess to ap­pli­ca­tions and ser­vices even in the event of a dis­as­ter. Fi­nally, they must not for­get that they will re­quire dy­namic DC se­cu­rity so­lu­tions which adapt to de­tect, de­fend and re­spond to tar­geted threats.”

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