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The key trends influencing data centres in 2016

John Schmidt, Data Centre Solutions Lead, CommScope | Jan. 21, 2016
John Schmidt of CommScope talks about the key trends influencing data centres this year.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The data centre, as we have come to know it, has changed. With bandwidth needs driven by trends such as wearable technology and big data, we see a shift in how organizations are viewing, building and planning their data centres. We see many organisations migrate new data centres to leased co-location facilities and public cloud. When organizations choose to build their own data centre, the facilities need to be more efficient and achieve higher density.

With changes taking place in how technologies are used and valued within the enterprise, there are many shifts I believe will happen in the near future. Here is a summary of the key trends influencing data centres in 2016:

Shift from Storage to Compute and On-Demand Access
The previous generations of data centres focused primarily on storage of information and disaster recovery. Geographic diversity was required for backup and data was retrieved on a periodic basis. Now the focus has shifted to analyzing and processing data for on-demand access. The rise of mobility and wearable technology creates requirements for latency that previously has never been seen. Consumers and business users alike have an expectation of on-demand access to data from the cloud with the same user experience when accessing data residing on the device. This results in data centres that are far more distributed. The most efficient way for most business to do this is with cloud computing.     

Where the Growth is Happening
As stated earlier, data centres will need to be more efficient and achieve higher density. From a service provider and co-location perspective, there will be a large growth in providing distributed computing. The large wave of growth will be in point of presence (PoP) data centres, supporting content delivery networks for service providers as well as promoting network virtualization and software defined networks. A combination of growth within PoP and co-location will increase the need for interconnecting or peering between service providers. 

Bringing Compute Power to the Edge
A big expansion in the coming year will be the idea of moving computing power to the edge of the network. We are seeing service providers want to push as much computing resources to the edge of the network as possible to reduce latency by reducing the number of "hops" the data has to take in order to reach the end user. A large amount of data is shifting from storage to algorithms that manipulate and analyze the data stored. As we use the data, we need to reduce latency. Ten years ago, in the era of programs, you would pull a program up on our laptops that took some time to load and we would look at it for long periods of time a couple of times a day. Now, we shifted towards an app-driven world where we look at the data hundreds of times a day in shorter durations. Users are starting to feel that data should be predictive and instantly serve up information from the cloud.


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