The Data Center is Slowly Dying
The leaders of Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) face a rather difficult challenge. From all angles, the IT they had known for decades is changing rapidly. IT offers a plethora of services and benefits, as well as roles it plays to individuals and enterprises. These functions include; facilitating the agility of the business, entering newer markets faster, and enabling nearer service delivery to consumers. Its primary assignment is also to position-specific workloads based on business regulatory, geopolitical, and impacts.
The roles that traditional data centers play are becoming less significant compared to that of this remarkable sector. This technology offers services that are exceptional and unique to the system only. The limitations of older data centers are even expanding to fields of poor economic efficiency, an advantage of the latter.
Cloud providers; interconnect services, IoT (the internet of things), SaaS offerings, and edge services continue to propagate. While this phase continues, it starts becoming impractical to remain in the restrictive topology of a traditional data center. Operators will begin to see the limited advantages that they get with the older data rates; then, we see transitions occur.
Although this kind of change will not happen overnight, it will be a gradual evolutionary process over the years. The major contributing factor behind this motive is the struggle to deliver services more efficiently to customers and businesses.
80% of enterprises may close down their old data centers by 2025
This evolution brings about several impacts, which include the following:
- Leaders of I&O should create a system of service providers for scalable, responsive infrastructure.
- In a digital infrastructure, workload placement is rooted in the business requirement and not limited to physical factors.
- Transiting to digital infrastructure will bring about an all-round increase in complexity for I&O. Hence, it will require retraining of staff with a focus on versatility.
- With distributed management of digital infrastructure, I&O will possess the tools to manage mad monitor assets and processes efficiently. All-round supervision will translate to a successful transition to digital business.
Workload Placement will be the primary factor pushing Digital Infrastructure Delivery
When business units demand new applications/services, IT organisations would first consider how the application would fit into their architecture. Yes, this strategy had worked well for on-premises, IT-controlled environments. But, over time, it becomes limiting, because the architecture may not settle into evolving business requirements.
Cloud adoption is a factor that battles with many organisations that develop delivery strategies for digital infrastructure. Instead of focusing on cloud adoption, thriving I&O leaders focus on business value. Consequently, I&O leaders are starting to create IT strategies that focus not on the physical infrastructure, but on the application portfolio. So, they are gradually drifting towards a service-driven approach, away from the older IT-architecture-influenced decisions.
The up to date increase in service-driven IT strategies has brought about corresponding implementations of edge-compute environments, IoT solutions, and modern IT. These implementations are usually utilised outside the traditional IT budget. As well, the focus on customer experience with outward-facing applications has also been increased.
And, more attention is on the immediate impact of deficient consumer experience on corporate reputation. With this outward focus, many organisations reconsider individual application placements rooted in geopolitical limitations, network latency, and customer population. One notable example is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) or regulatory restrictions of the EU.
There should be an Ecosystem to enable scalable, responsive infrastructure
A new digital ecosystem can be simple and created with major service providers, starting with the distributed digital infrastructure deployment. First, the business-related advantages achieved for every application workload and its related data is agreed upon. These merits can contain enhanced corporate reputation, geo-diversity, reduced latency, better service continuity, improved customer experience, improved compliance, etc.
While you agree upon these factors, take note of available assets on the market that you can leverage. These assets may include colocation, cloud, or hosting. Do not limit your interest to what the IT infrastructure offers now. Furthermore, enquire about the leverage options for service providers, so that you get better services when you need them.
The establishment of superior services beyond regular floor space, power, and support services has been the budding trend in the collocation market. These services include cloud-enabled services, carrier neutrality, and interconnect fabrics to other services or sites. With these fabrics, customers of enterprises can have access to several providers and services and still switch between functions.
This function is useful when performance requirements or contracts change. Other enhanced services include cross-connects to partners within similar premises, and entrance into several cloud services through secure networks.
Nowadays, it is quite tricky, switching between providers. You should expect enhanced collocation providers that offer software-defined networking (SDN) layers above these fabrics. Thus, they facilitate a faultless mechanism for transiting between services for their customers. This way, collocation providers can become a vital fraction of your digital infrastructure. It then becomes essential to develop clearly-defined SLAs, contractual obligations, and KPIs.
Digital businesses progress with the evolvement of the need for geodiversity. Regulatory requirements (e.g., GDPR), customer requirements (e.g., low latency), and data location may make the multiple-location accessibility of workloads essential. A robust interconnection-service-supporting partner ecosystem may be a vital facilitator for these workloads.