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Data centre directions 2014 roundtable: Reinvention and renewal

Jennifer O'Brien | Feb. 11, 2014
A group of select attendees gathered at an exclusive roundtable lunch to discuss data centre predictions for 2014 – with a key focus on the software-defined data centres promise and vision.

From software-defined data centres (SDDC) to an ever-increasing focus on sustainability and energy efficiency, the data centre market in Australia is thriving and undergoing massive change thanks to game-changing technologies including Cloud computing. A group of select attendees gathered at an exclusive roundtable lunch to discuss data centre predictions for 2014 — with a key focus on the SDDC promise and vision. The roundtable also touched on the angst over a deskilled reseller market, the worry surrounding a skills shortage, and challenges associated with preparing customers for the transformative technological journey in the datacentre. JENNIFER O'BRIEN reports.

Jennifer O'Brien (JO): How has the data centre industry evolved? What are some noticeable developments?
John Donovan (JD), VMware: We've been working for a long time on helping customers and the partner community understand what the Cloud is for them and architect what a hybrid Cloud looks like. Also on educating them on how to use their existing resources and then be able to move those workloads in a secure fashion into and out of the data centres. The evolution of the data centre, the software defined datacentre and the software defined networking and network virtualisation layers are incredibly important to us. This is what we do — we architect the next layer of what this technology looks like. We've all got a responsibility to the industry to help describe what this is, what it does and why it's meaningful to partners and customers, rather than just being hot technology. We should focus on the agility and the cost controls and how it makes things easier to do.

Damien Spillane (DS), Digital Realty: The evolution that we've seen in the past three to four years in terms of the workloads and the type of deployments customers are putting into datacentres has changed phenomenally. The changes over the last five years from iPhone apps to Big Data and the next horizon, which is the Internet of everything or M2M, have driven an extraordinary amount of data requirements so, in turn, storage requirements have grown massively. The density of the storage arrays is growing at an astronomical rate. The efficiency of the storage from a gigabyte perspective, and from a cost and space perspective, has grown significantly. And the requirement in terms of kilowatts is still growing. The demand for storage is one of the real trends that we're seeing in the data centre space. There's also a greater awareness of efficiency. The other aspect that we've seen evolve is security. As more data has been put into the Cloud — personal, business, legal, and commercial data — organisations are becoming much more aware of the efficiency. The requirements around physical and operational certifications, particularly from a security perspective, is an area that we're seeing growing — and there are some other evolutions to happen. The final trend is, of course, conductivity. With all of this data that is now residing and all of the compute that's residing in these large datacentres, the conductivity between them and the size of the pipes, the diversity of the pipes and, of course, the cost of the pipes is a major factor and is changing. The requirement for conductivity is growing.


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