Evolving to Next-Gen Data Center: Cloud, Storage, Virtualization, Security
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Evolving to Next-Gen Data Center: Cloud, Storage, Virtualization, Security

How are data center managers adjusting to cloud and the explosion of data? AFCOM survey sheds light on the impact of current trends on the data center.

The data center has become the home of media content, cloud services, and a new breed of industry-disruptive companies. As more organizations find benefits of cloud and third-party data center services, spend and growth in the data center market will continue to grow.

According to Gartner, in 2014, the absolute growth of public Infrastructure-as-a-Service workloads surpassed the growth of on-premise workloads (of any type) for the first time. The market research firm's 2015 CIO survey indicates that 83 percent of CIOs consider IaaS as an infrastructure option, and 10 percent are already cloud-first with IaaS as their default infrastructure choice.

Administrators will be looking for more ways to optimize their data centers and all the workloads they support. Most of all, they’ll be looking for smarter ways to secure their data. As more data is placed within the data center, there are see more targets and more attacks. Juniper Research recently pointed out that the rapid digitization of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, increasing to almost four times the estimated cost of breaches in 2015.

It’s no wonder that respondents to the latest State of the Data Center Survey by our sister company AFCOM indicated that security is still a top concern among IT decision makers.

Here are the respondents' top concerns about cloud:

  • Security: 32 percent
  • Interoperability of cloud services with existing enterprise infrastructure: 7 percent
  • Total cost of ownership: 7 percent
  • Ownership of data: 6 percent

The survey also asked how IT decision makers intend to meet their data center services needs over the next 12 and 36 months:

  • Expand capacity in existing data center(s)
    • 12 Months: 74 percent
    • 36 Months: 73 percent
  • Cloud
    • 12 Months: 66 percent
    • 36 Months: 81 percent
  • Colocation/managed services
    • 12 Months: 65 percent
    • 36 Months: 83 percent
  • Renovate/refurbish
    • 12 Months: 57 percent
    • 36 Months: 72 percent
  • Build new
    • 12 Months: 42 percent
    • 36 Months: 88 percent

Conversation revolving around expansion, cloud, and security, AFCOM also saw some big shifts around controlling the explosion of data. A recent Cisco report indicates that global data center IP traffic will nearly triple (2.8-fold) over the next five years. The AFCOM survey asked respondents about storage, capacity, and how they’re reacting to this data growth.

As it stands today, 31 percent are managing between 1 and 10PB of data. A further 16 percent are managing 10PB to 50PB and more. Several respondents said that they anticipate their annual storage growth rate to be between 20 percent and 30 percent.

So, how are data center manager reacting to this storage growth? Top five responses were:

  1. 58 percent are allocating physical space within the data center
  2. 48 percent are using storage virtualization
  3. 46 percent are using storage consolidation
  4. 37 percent are using flash storage
  5. 19 percent are leveraging a cloud provider

New storage consolidation and control systems will help control the vast boom in data growth. Most of all, organizations will have to find ways to store data more efficiently and securely. In some cases, this will mean moving to the cloud; in others, deploying better levels of virtualization.

Download AFCOM's entire 2015 State of the Data Center Survey for more on trends in cloud, security, virtualization, and what it all means for your data center.

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