Data Center Managers, Expect Lots of Changes in 2018

Here are some of the most insightful predictions from those that study data center operations, and those that work at its sharp end.

Danny Bradbury

December 14, 2017

2 Min Read
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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Across America, people are winding down for the Christmas season. Some of them will already be looking beyond the holiday’s excesses to 2018, and thinking about what it will bring. AFCOM turned to industry experts to find out what emerging trends they expect to impact the data center environment in the coming 12 months. Their responses covered a broad set of topics from the organizational to the technical. Here are some of the most insightful predictions from those that study data center operations, and those that work at its sharp end.

Good People Will be Harder to Find

One of the biggest challenges facing data center managers in 2018 will be finding the right people fro the job. Rhonda Ascierto, research director for the data center technologies and eco-efficient IT channel at 451 Research, warns that talent management and staff shortages will both present risks in the coming year.

She believes that staff shortages will put a particular squeeze on facilities operations. “A lot of data center facilities staff are aging, frankly, and have been with the job for decades,” she warns. 

IT Will Flock to the Cloud …

Public cloud services will see continued growth in 2018, predict experts.

“All the new innovation is being run out of the cloud or software as a service options, so there isn’t a lot of new stuff coming along to fill the data center,” says IDC’s data center and cloud analyst Richard Villars.

Moving to these public cloud infrastructures creates its own challenges, though. Firstly, companies may simply not know how to manage it, warns Tad Davies, DCI board member and principal at Bick Consulting Services.

"I see a lot of non-proper utilization in the cloud,” he says. Companies tend to assume a fixed cost for cloud services without examining their real-world usage, and consequently overpay for things.

Data Centers Will Become Smarter

Where companies do maintain their own data center locations, they will be driven by mission-critical applications that must stay on the premises, along with legacy applications that aren’t well-suited to a cloud environment.

While owner operators may rationalize data centers in 2018, the cloud won’t entirely replace them. Instead, enterprises will seek to use on-premises data centers more efficiently as part of a broader cloud solution. Companies will take the opportunity to modernize these often scaled-down facilities, predicts Villars.

“We do see companies facing the reality that even if they are using cloud, they have to spend money to upgrade selected numbers of their existing data centers,” he says.

To read more about what experts predict for 2018, view the full article here. 

The article is free to AFCOM members. To learn more about AFCOM or to join the association, visit here.

AFCOM is a sister organization to Data Center Knowledge.

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