The types of services that the modern data center is delivering have evolved drastically over the past few years. Driven by the consumer and the end-user, new technologies are paving the way with how we actively consume information and incorporate data into our daily lives. The average user is already utilizing two or more devices to connect to their workloads. These trends will only become more prominent as more users find their way into the modern cloud model.
In a recent article I explored the idea that the modern data center is becoming “The Data Center of Everything.” As the data center model continues to evolve, the way that end-users consume data center resources will evolve as well.
This is where the notion of “Everything-as-a-Service” comes into mind. Data center providers are actively trying to become your one-stop destination for all of your compute needs. It makes sense too. The data center market has really heated up as demands around data center services continue to increase.
So how have the end-user requirements changed? What new types of services are emerging around the modern data center which directly translates to user consumption?
- Network-as-a-Service. As more users connect to the cloud, data centers will need to figure out a better way to deliver high quality, low latency, network services. Already, we’re seeing NaaS become a key category of cloud computing where specific delivery models are defining how users utilize these services. For example, Bandwidth-on-Demand (BoD) can be considered a NaaS service model where bandwidth can dynamically adapt to the live requirements of traffic. Furthermore this can be configured based on number of connections, nodes connected to the data center, and where traffic priority policies integrate. As more users connect to the data center for things like streaming, data sharing, and consuming compute cycles – delivering high quality network services will be an absolute necessity.
- Data-as-a-Service. With more users comes a lot more data. In this service model, data is delivered on demand in a manner which allows the actual information to be clean and very agile. The idea is to offer data to various systems, different types of applications, and different user groups. This data would be available regardless of whether the user is inside of the organization or out of it. Furthermore, policies can be wrapped around this data to further enhance QoS, integrity, and agility. Already, big cloud vendors are utilizing a variety of DaaS models to enhance the data delivery process. Providers like Microsoft Azure deliver and store data via three different methods – queues, tables, and blobs. The future of DaaS is bright. Organizations will want to further control and optimize both structured and unstructured data sets. Applications include everything from optimized data delivery to big data analytics.
- Backend-as-a-Service. This one is becoming very popular – very fast. The major influx of users coming in via mobile devices has created a boom in mobile application development. BaaS allows for both web and mobile application platforms to link to backend cloud storage services. This helps provide optimized features around push notifications to a variety of devices, complete user management, and the ability to integrate with other social networking platforms. In utilizing SDKs and various APIs, BaaS is able to directly integrate various cloud services with both web and mobile applications. Already, there is a broad focus where open platforms aim to support every major platform including iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry. Furthermore, the BaaS platform aims to further enhance the mobile computing experience by integrating with cloud-ready hosting vendors like Azure, Rackspace and EC2. Still curious? Take a look at what some BaaS providers have been doing. For example, DreamFactory provides a truly open-source software platform capable of integrating with any cloud or data center provider. Basically, they give you the back-end and you create the front-end app.
- Everything-as-a-Service. Just imagine – using your favorite data center or cloud hosting provider as your resource to everything you’ll ever need for the compute experience. As a subset of cloud computing, EaaS aims to provide core services associated with numerous core components. This includes communication, infrastructure, data, various platforms, cloud APIs and more. One example of EaaS is SaaS. It’s the idea that a piece of software can be delivered completely via the cloud. This software service is agnostic of the connecting device and provides a consistent user experience across the board. Already, we’re seeing large data center providers and vendors embrace the EaaS trend. Organizations like Microsoft, HP and Google are all looking to become your one-stop for all cloud needs. In fact, Google is a great example of EaaS. From a data center perspective – they deliver workloads, applications, data, IT services, streaming services, and much more. By integrating core cloud components into one service – cloud and data center providers are able to deliver all necessary services for a complete cloud compute experience.
The consumption of cloud and data center resources is the primary reason that so many new types of models have emerged. Consumers are constantly looking for ways to be better connected and have their data delivered to them as quickly as possible. This means that new types of data services, cloud applications, and delivery models are going to have to be developed within the data center.
As more providers and hosting companies try to lock in more users – they will actively try to offer more bang for the user’s buck. In the past, organizations and technology would mainly dictate the direction of the data center. Now, the user has a lot more say in the process. As new services emerge - the hardware/software infrastructure for the data center will need to adapt to the ever-expanding requirements of the modern user and business entity.