As the demands of traditional data centers increase so does the need to revamp our approach to systems architecture. Smart data centers are no longer IT focused but rather focus on the needs of the business. Breaking down operational silos and enabling the data center for agility, availability and scalability support the business in a much more effective way than IT practices of the past. As data centers continue to face rigorous demands, future infrastructure must address both the physical and logical layers to accelerate the business value of IT and drive organizational results.
Demands of the data center
Businesses rely on technology. So much so that IT could be termed the backbone of every organization. As the evolution of the IT-Business relationship progresses, IT is faced with accommodating a vast amount of demands from the business:
- Availability and flexibility
- Dealing with space limitations
- Compliance with industry standards
- Real-time data/services delivery
- Service delivery over a wide geographical spectrum
- Service-centric models
Enabling IT to become a service broker for the business is the future of IT practices. Internal customers are increasingly looking to receive the same experience they get from their smart devices at work which means the option to self-serve applications on demand. An agile infrastructure is necessary in order to make this possible and IT professionals are looking for ways to automate these services.
Flexible, end-to-end solutions are infiltrating the data center space. As companies grow increasingly dependent on the technology that supports them, IT professionals are faced with integrating traditional data center infrastructures with proprietary systems which has opened the door for interoperability between all business systems. While implementing such solutions can be challenging, the financial and operational benefits are worth the effort.
Data center management
Ensuring that energy, equipment and square footage are used as efficiently as possible is a primary responsibility for data center managers. Excel spreadsheets and visual spot checking have been replaced with central management systems enabling IT to gain a holistic, single-pain view of the data center. Optimizing asset performance and enabling design and management opportunities through data center management systems is being integrated broadly as the benefits of doing so are vast.
As cloud computing and virtualization continue to grow in the data center space, IT professionals are being asked to look for software defined technologies. While we may first think of virtualization when mentioning software defined technologies, these advancements also go a long way in terms of utilizing existing hardware to their full capacity. Administrators are able to create hundreds of instances on a single network component which helps control data center workloads. The primary areas which are moving to the software defined realm are:
- Software defined networking
- Software defined security
- Software defined storage
Businesses are taking their data center efficiencies to the next level by moving workloads to the cloud. As it relates to IT administrators, provisioning applications, deciphering which workloads are appropriate to move to the cloud and better using underlying components provide an entirely different spectrum to the profession.
IT leadership and business executives will continue to look for more ways to better utilize their technologies as they relate to the ever changing needs of the organization and the smart data center will be at the forefront of these efforts.