Re-envisioning the Next-Generation Data Center

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock PhotosAmazon has taken a bold step forward that is expected to result in at least two major transformations. The trendsetting Internet giant has transformed its data center into an application program interface (API). That certain transformation is expected to give rise to another potential transformation: Amazon’s move to an API-based data center most likely will exert a major influence across the Internet and tech industries as companies look to follow Amazon’s lead. 

The “Hyperscale” Influence

Amazon runs with what has become known as the “hyperscale” crowd—a group that includes Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Apple—all of which have ample resources to make the API move. This is in contrast to the resources of smaller businesses, which will aim to follow Amazon’s lead but with relatively limited resources. This puts increased pressure on smaller companies and independent operators, both of which will be hard-pressed to meet the performance bar set by the hyperscale crowd.

To deal with these challenges, IT organizations are expected to spend more money to save more time. They most likely will be compelled to partner with vendors and to invest in more expensive, elaborate systems and solutions so that they can perform more efficiently.

Conversely, the tech and Internet giants are expected to spend more time to save more money. Their own engineers will build improved API-based data systems to reduce the overall cost proposition. 

Data Center Performance

This creates a dilemma for enterprise IT managers: how can they reproduce the capabilities of the Internet giants with limited resources? Data center performance is based on three fundamental infrastructure features:

  • networking,
  • computing power,
  • and storage capabilities. 

The primary reason why independent, enterprise-based data centers tend to be inflexible is that hardware and infrastructure are so costly. Clearly, the Internet giants have a major advantage in this regard. 

Looking Ahead

However, it is difficult to predict future scalability in an industry whose hallmark is rapid change. It is virtually impossible to anticipate future workload needs with any accuracy, especially in the age of cloud computing. The cloud and its related technologies, such as SaaS (software as a service), have completely transformed the way businesses engage with data centers. While many traditional practices have gone the way of the dinosaur, the move toward public cloud computing is only part of the future solution. 

One solution is this: the IT industry needs to unite and move together towards a visionary solution. Data centers and related applications need to be wholly reimagined. Open source software like OpenStack and hardware solutions might be the key to the future.

 Open source hardware and software is expected to drive future growth and improve the availability, performance, security, and scalability of data centers. This shift will lay the fundamental framework for a future data center model that will be able to meet the needs of businesses and organizations for years to come.

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