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Data Centers – 2017

Future DX Economy is looking for  a highly accurate, fully automated, lights-out datacenter that uses predictive analytics to reduce downtime.

Future DX Economy is looking for  a highly accurate, fully automated, lights-out datacenter that uses predictive analytics to reduce downtime.

The notion of cloud taking over everything in 2017 is premature. Cloud adoption shift will take time. Statistics reveal that although cloud’s share of the networking market is increasing, it still represents a small part of the overall IT capacity.

2016 did mark the first time enterprises spending more on computational services than they did on purchasing data center hardware. But we are not yet in an all-cloud world, and while we may be moving down that road, there are so many aspects opposed to that momentum that have to be overcome. Staffing, legacy infrastructure, and retooling the data center are just some of them.

Having said that, as clients make a shift from on-premises traditional data centers to the cloud, mega vendors will rush to build out their hyperscale data centers. Hyperscale data centers use nodes to flex up and flex down on compute power, storage, networking, and memory as demand increases or decreases. While only 7 percent of the world’s workloads are in the cloud today, Constellation estimates that by 2020, 67 percent of the world’s workloads will be processed by cloud data centers. Moreover, the growth in public cloud continues to exceed the growth in private cloud due to operational efficiency, improved security, and improvements in hyperscale. Constellation predicts by 2020, 305 million (66.8 percent) of the cloud workloads will shift to the public cloud with 151 million (33.2 percent) in the private cloud data centers.

Constellation sees the following trends in 2017 for the data center:

  • Expect higher power density for the power plants for the new economy. With artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud driving workloads and demand, clients will buy compute power by the kW/h. These hyperscale data centers have got to ramp up 10 to 100× in compute power and efficiency. The goal is to improve server side usage from 15 to 17 percent to 40 to 50 percent. Network functions virtualization (NFV) will improve this. The goal is to drive down PUE sizes and quickly flatten data center architectures. Workload density will move beyond the aspirational 3.0 workloads per server benchmark by 2018.
  • Push toward more green, more cold. The quest for efficiency continues with data center construction in colder locations and zones. Where possible, new construction requires more green power, more underground design, and higher efficiency of systems. A lot of engineering is going into the design of more efficient connections, better use of power, and more importantly distribution efficiency. The biggest opportunity will be in the smaller data centers, not the hyper scale ones. Constellation estimates almost 40 billion kW/h to shave off from the legacy on-premises data centers alone.
  • Increase security at the chip level and in the physical perimeter. Given the criticality of the data center, organizations must up both their physical security as well as their network security. Expect an increase in more physical security systems. Importantly, security at the chip level is helping to improve the scale of defense required in sophisticated hacking and reducing the impact of inside jobs.
  • Greater use of DCIM to benchmark performance. The result is anywhere from 2 to 3× less down time. Resiliency and high availability take center stage in improving uptime. The convergence of logical and physical layers through SDDC should improve in maturity.
  • Continued adoption of OCP. With Facebook leading the way in the open compute project (OCP) and industry standardization, Constellation expects better interoperability over time across all areas of the data center. More importantly, how organizations bridge the gap in hybrid data centers will exponentially improve efficiency.

Predictions by IDC

In its latest report FutureScape: Worldwide Datacenter 2017 Predictions-APeJ Implications, IDC observes that future DX Economy will require a highly accurate, fully automated, lights-out datacenter that uses predictive analytics to reduce downtime. This is the promise but the current reality for many older organizations is a datacenter environment that still contains significant technical complexity despite the efficiency and agility afforded by the cloud.

A few top datacenter predictions, which will make the biggest impact to organizations in the Asia-Pacific for 2017 and beyond are:

  • Datacenter vision. By 2018, 35 percent of companies in data-intensive industries will adopt formal datacenter planning, sourcing, and governance processes to speed digital transformation efforts.
  • Next-gen workloads. By 2019, 25 percent of organizations’ datacenter investments will be supporting next-gen contextual workloads such as Cognitive/AI, Machine Learning, and Augmented Reality.
  • PAYG IT. Pay-as-you-go/use models will account for 25 percent of on-premise and off-premise physical IT and datacenter asset spending by 2018.
  • Smart(er) datacenters. In 2017, only 20 percent of enterprises will deploy software-defined datacenters on schedule because capacity constraints in critical facilities delay transformation efforts.
  • Multicloud operations. As enterprises react to changing data use patterns, 45 percent of their ICT spend in 2018 will be in a mix of colocation, hosted cloud, and public cloud datacenters.
  • Local cloud delivery. By 2019, 20 percent of on-premise infrastructure will support geo-dependent, next-generation workloads linked directly to public/hosted clouds through IaaS/PaaS stacks on integrated appliances.
  • Rack-level IT. In three years, rack-level hyperconverged and hyperscale bundles will account for 30 percent of server/storage/network deployments, driving changes in power and cooling design.
  • Dynamic connectivity. In 2017, 25 percent of enterprises will use policy-based overlay networks to move data and workloads between datacenters, clouds, and branch offices quickly and securely.
  • Power assurance. By 2019, leading datacenter operators will reduce reliance on the grid, with 10 percent of all datacenter energy needs being met by dedicated, privately generated power sources.
  • Datacenter obsolescence. In the next two years, 30 percent of large and midsize businesses will suffer a service failure due to mismatches in power delivery and IT workload profiles caused by hardware obsolescence.

The research predicts that the hybrid datacenter environment will continue to proliferate as the new normal in APeJ, and 45 percent of enterprise ICT spend in 2018 will be a mix of off-premise environments.

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