Yossi Ben Harosh is President & CEOof RiT Technologies.
All signs indicate that 2016 will be a year of many challenges. Disruptive technologies will be introduced, the exponential increase in computing power will continue, while businesses will demand a prompt response to quickly changing requirements. At the same time the requirement to be highly resource efficient will stay the same.
As a result of these challenges we predict these changes will emerge in 2016:
Data Centers Harness IoT Technologies
By incorporating smart technologies into the data center, facility managers will be able to keep track of real time status of components and environmental measurements to keep operations flowing smoothly. Sensors that measure temperature, humidity and electricity will be combined with network equipment monitoring to help data centers maintain a high level of uptime and reduce capital and operational expenditures. Data centers will have more platforms available to them, including IoT integrating data from many different sources to keep their computing facilities functioning at optimum capacity.
Hyperconverged systems that bring together key IT system components into one box, or system, that's managed through a software layer, will take on a larger role within data center infrastructures. Business requirements drive simplification of infrastructure and time to value within IT departments. Virtualization will become a driving force for hyperconvergence, especially as virtualization exposes the inefficiencies of SAN storage and the need to virtualize the storage and network layers. As convergence becomes a growing trend there will be a need for converged infrastructure management platforms that can provide an integrated unified view to bridge the gap between virtual networks and physical infrastructures.
Software Driven Infrastructure
As infrastructure becomes more software-defined (software defined networks) , operations will be automated, eliminating manual configuration — and reconfiguration — at the hardware-component level. This will allow for greater agility, fewer errors, and lower operational costs. The data will be presented in a way that it can be fully actionable for quicker responses for maximum availability. There will be a focus on software platforms that can provide a unified view of components and connectivity to increase provisioning and management efficiency. If you have a database of all of the components that is real time and up to date and accurate, you can recovery from system failures more quickly, not only when there are problems with virtual services but also when there are faulty components in the physical infrastructure.
Building Block Scalability
Enterprises will want to mimic what large cloud giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon have architected: a highly responsive IT environment that can easily expand and contract as dictated by business requirements. However, they will not be willing to part with the resiliency they’ve grown accustomed to with traditional architectures and technology. Infrastructures that enable building-block scale, with the same level of redundancy and resiliency using software-defined approaches, will become more popular to those with scale aspirations.
Automation for Labor Efficiency
Automation of data center management activities will become the norm to reduce the work load and human errors, and to speed up responsiveness to equipment failures. There will be a shift in how infrastructure and operations teams administer the IT environment with the introduction of fool proof instructions such as using IP discovery for automatic validation. In this new environment, administrators will need to embrace new skills and get comfortable shedding the mundane and repetitive tasks, such as provisioning storage. Organizations will hire for an entirely new set of skills within the data center – moving away from individualized domain experts in the stack of the infrastructure to skill sets that focus on automation, API integrations between technologies, the outcomes of user experience and how to integrate the new with the old.
This promises to be an interesting year for the data center, filled with new virtual capabilities and new processing demands. The data center managers who will come out ahead in 2016 are those who can keep their fingers on operations by utilizing software platforms to ensure high availability and resource utilization while forging ahead with new technologies.
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