From the Lab

3 Insights from the DataCenter Insights Summit

The recent DataCenter Insights conference was chock full of information, enterprise case studies, and market analysis. It can’t all be distilled down to a single blog post, but we can share a few of the themes that surfaced repeatedly throughout the event.

  1. Enterprises aren’t suited to manage data centers at web scale
    Compute capacity, data storage, network infrastructure. Most companies can’t manage the requirements for all three given the sheer volume of resources needed, and the complexity involved. IDC analyst Richard Villars put it best when he cited an IDC report on the subject:”The key question for organizations is whether they have the insight, capital, and commitment to design, build, and operate datacenters for reliable and dynamic delivery of transaction, content serving, archiving, and analytics capacity on time, with no delays and no excuses, to individuals and organizations around the world. For many, the answer will be, ‘no.'”
  2. Most data centers suffer from a lack of efficiency
    According to Cal Braunstein, CEO of the Robert Frances Group, a typical IT organization should be able to increase its capacity two-fold, while also cutting costs in half. How does this magic occur? By optimizing several inefficient areas of data center operations.Top resource optimization opportunities include everything from server virtualization to process refinement. However, two of the areas ripest for improvement in the data center are networking and Power Usage Efficiency (PUE). Companies tend to *overprovision their networks with bandwidth capacity to ensure there’s always connectivity. But bandwidth is a much more flexible asset today than it was in the past, and it can be more easily upgraded as needed. On the PUE front, efficient cooling techniques and data center design can have a huge impact on power efficiency. [link to cost calculator post] Braunstein believes that a typical company can improve its PUE by up to 80%.
  3. The data center and the network are converging
    New hybrid cloud strategies mean that network connectivity is both more important and more complex than ever before. IDC predicts that 70% of large and mid-sized organizations will start major architecture redesigns over the next three years to improve network flow both within a data center, and from the data center to the network edge.IDCAt the same time, IDC recommends that companies should look to service providers for help managing network infrastructure, particularly when it comes to reaching branch offices and remote employees. Networking is an essential function of the modern data center, and many service providers are far better equipped than the typical enterprise to optimize network layout, bandwidth provisioning, and regular upgrades.