Everyone’s talking about these various next-gen data center trends – and there are so many buzz-words which makes it hard to follow. So I’ve decided to pick-up the glove, and in my next blog series I will try to explain the key trends that impact the next-generation data center, see what each trend means and finally discuss how they can be addressed in the most cost-effective way.
So here’s a brief description of the key trends, challenges or IT initiatives (depending from which cockpit you look at them :-)):
Data center consolidation – Many organizations operate multiple data centers even though in many cases a smaller number of data centers may be sufficient. The cost of operating these potentially redundant data centers is significant; each data center must be staffed with professionals and network administrators and each requires investment in infrastructure and software licenses – not to mention additional cost in terms of data center space, electricity, cooling and more. Moreover, as each data center must guarantee business continuity during peak times, it is most likely that servers are underutilized during non-peak times. Multi-site data centers find it more challenging to meet regulations, to backup and replicate their data and to keep a unified policy for disaster recovery than the consolidated data centers. All of these reasons drive IT organizations to reduce the amount and locations of deployed equipment, i.e. to consolidate their IT operations in terms of data center, servers and infrastructure.
Virtualization – IT organizations approach virtualization with the intended goal of achieving significant capital and operational cost savings within their data centers, while increasing their business agility (will get to that shortly). Deploying virtualized applications, servers and infrastructure benefits in direct cost reduction by reducing the number of servers and network devices – cutting off the cost associated with operating them. At the same time, it also increases the business’s agility, as it is simpler to perform modifications in the data center infrastructure – such as capacity growth, topology changes or configuration refinements – in order to be aligned with the business objectives.
Hi-Speed Connectivity – The modern data center face growing throughput capacity and dramatically higher rates of users, transactions and session concurrency. As a result, data centers will increasingly starts leveraging high-speed connectivity (such as 10GE, 40GE, etc.) all across its deployed network infrastructure, including switches, routers, application delivery controllers and other devices. This applies not only to newly rolled-out services but also to existing services or business processes that need to become more robust in terms of performance, scalability and processing capacity.
Convergence – Voice over IP (VoIP) is transforming the global communications matrix, rapidly replacing TDM networks with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) as the foundation of converged voice and data networks. SIP-based services, including 4G Voice over LTE (VoLTE), typically built on-top of IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architectures, enable the seamless deployment of a wide range of value-added IP services, including voice, video, messaging, presence and collaboration.
Green IT – Getting Green is a challenge the entire industry is taking on for several years already. Today, customers expect to purchase products that were designed with Green IT in mind, making the data center more energy-efficient by investing in technologies that can reduce energy consumption. This translates into a need for more efficient platforms in terms of data center space, power consumption and heat dissipation (affecting cooling costs).
In part 2 of this blog, I’ll discuss how these trends can be realized/implemented from a specific application delivery viewpoint.
Until next time,