Thinking Different: Data Centers and IoT

Data center managers must develop new strategies for handling the IoT and all the data that could overwhelm current systems

Karen Riccio

February 18, 2016

3 Min Read
Thinking Different: Data Centers and IoT
Whirlpool’s Smart Top Load washer displayed at the 2015 International CES at in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Internet of Everything (IoT) has gone from a concept not many people grasped clearly, to a tangible, living and breathing phenomena on the verge of changing the way we live—and the way data centers strategize for the future.

At least, data center managers better develop new strategies for handling the IoT and all the data that could overwhelm current systems.

What does the volume of data look like: In the past five years, traffic volume has already increased five-fold; and according to a 2014 study by Cisco, annual global IP traffic will pass a zettabyte and surpass 1.6 zettabytes by 2018. Non-PC devices—expected to double the global population by that year—will generate more than half that traffic.

The global growth of data is causing new information networks and demanding new ways to be processed and managed. With no sign of this growth tapering off, new approaches and services are needed to ensure businesses can cope with and reap the benefits of this new information.

As a result of the nature of data, and its processing demands, new potential architectures are also arising. While the Googles of the world are primarily using large mega facilities to address these requirements, this approach isn’t practical for the vast majority of operators.

That’s what Chris Crosby, CEO of Compass Datacenters, will address in his upcoming Data Center World session, “Thinking Different: Data Centers and IoT.”

“From a data center perspective, the IoT translates into billions of tiny packets from billions of devices. Just a few short years ago, we would have referred to these as Denial of Service attacks, and now data center professionals must develop infrastructures that are able to process this information in real time or it loses its value,” Crosby explained.

By incorporating smart technologies data centers will be able to keep track of real time status of components and environmental measurements to keep operations flowing smoothly. 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. So, it’s key that lag time is kept to a minimum.

For example, he referred to how a company’s IoT-based, just-in-time inventory system would suffer serious consequences if there were very long delays in its ability to track the location and volume of component parts.

In order to prevent such delays, Crosby sees growth in more stratified structures in which data, and its processing component, are moving as close to user groups as possible in terms of edge and (small but growing) micro data centers.

“IoT is outstripping the capability of many in-place data centers and driving the evolution to more stratified architectures,” he said.

You will walk away from Crosby’s presentations with answers to the following questions:

  • Do we need bigger data centers?

  • What is stratification?

  • Where is the “Edge”?

  • How local is local?

  • What will we see in the next 24 months?

Data Center World runs from March 14-18 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For more information on the event and a detailed look at the educational sessions, visit

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