What’s Missing Then?
What about the attachment between the data center facilities operations teams and the IT smarts that are being deployed? Enter the missing link in the Data Center 3.0 chain that is being bridged by the cloud providers. We are beginning to see the acceleration of intelligent tools that help enterprise users make decisions. For example, a decision about where within an Amazon Web Services (AWS) data center a workload belongs. These decisions are not static. They are dynamic and based on learning of the performance and pricing of an instance within a given region, at different times, and also on the ability to automatically orchestrate the migration or spawning up of instances in different AWS zones based on these metrics.
The AWS example is not coincidental. The issue with all of these technologies and operations practices is that cloud providers are driving them. And herein lies the decision for modern data center owners and operators. With the growing reality of Data Center 3.0 technologies and practices abounding amongst cloud providers one can chose to either contend, leverage their best-practices for your own data center operations or begin migrating workloads to those cloud provider.
Ironically, even smaller cloud and managed hosting providers need to make the same decision. In the face of a reduced need to immediately construct another large data center in the same ways as the past, cloud computing offers cost-effective and highly secure services that can be leveraged temporarily, or permanently, for specific workloads and services. And if that is not an option, then borrowing best practices from those providers is another option.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in making this decision is the gap that continues to exist between facilities teams and IT teams. Each team has its challenges and there is a mismatch in the longevity of lifecycle between facilities upgrades and IT refreshes, and even in the related employees and their associated projects. However, the common point of interest is the need to deliver optimized service and cost efficiency back to the business they represent. And while some data center practices have recognized the need to a hybrid executive that understands both worlds, the onus is on both groups to work together, exploiting each one’s technologies, to create further efficiency’s in the data center.
IT managers must think more intelligently about data centers and power centers. Likewise data center facilities operators, need to eliminate the temptation to throw their hands up in the air, in frustration over the lack of explicit power needs projections’ from their IT peers. Both groups need to stop thinking purely about the impact of power and data centers, and instead shift the focus to merging the management of power and IT workloads in sync with each other to produce smarter data center operations. That also requires data center operators and IT managers to act as service brokers between and amongst their own in-house resources, and, as needed, external cloud resources, based on all of the modern tools at their disposal. That is ultimately what Data Center 3.0 really represents.
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