Traditionally, the data centre has evolved in response to technology innovation – mostly server-based – and the pace and direction has been somewhat predictable. Disruptive trends such as cloud computing, sustainability, cybersecurity and the Internet of Things are driving profound IT changes across all industries and creating opportunities and challenges in the process. As a result, new archetypes are emerging that will change the data centre landscape and improve productivity, drive down costs and increase agility. The four emerging archetypes of tomorrow’s data centres are:
The Data Fortress: Cyber attacks have disrupted some of the world’s leading companies as our increasingly connected world creates more and more openings for hackers. Organisations are beginning to take a security first approach to data centre design, deploying out-of-network data pods for highly sensitive information – in some cases with separate, dedicated power and thermal management equipment.
The Cloud of Many Drops: Despite virtualisation-driven improvements, too many servers remain underutilised – some studies indicate servers use just 5-15 per cent of their computing capacity and that 30 per cent of all servers are ‘comatose’. We see a future where organisations explore shared service models, selling some of that excess capacity and in effect becoming part of the cloud.
Fog Computing: Distributed architectures are becoming commonplace as computing at the edge of the network becomes more critical. Introduced by Cisco, fog computing connects multiple small networks into a single large network, with application services distributed across smart devices and edge computing systems to improve efficiency and concentrate data processing closer to devices and networks. It’s a logical response to the massive amount of data being generated by the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Corporate Social Responsibility Compliant Data Centre: Energy efficiency continues to be important for an industry with seemingly limitless consumption needs, but other drivers – most notably an increased focus on reducing carbon footprint among some organisations – are pushing the focus toward sustainability and corporate responsibility. The industry is responding with increased use of alternative energy in an effort to move toward carbon neutrality.
‘These emerging data centre archetypes are proof of the ongoing changes and innovations currently taking place in the industry,’ said Lal Karsanbhai, president for Emerson Network Power in Europe, Middle East and Africa. ‘The fast moving nature of our industry demands innovative thinking, and our work and relationships with leading IT organisations around the world enable us as well as our customers to stay ahead of these changing trends.’