What kind of companies do data centers have

Cloud computing

Opinions vary as to whether data centers will still play a role in the cloud era. Some experts and analysts suspect that companies will no longer own or operate their own data centers in the future. Others claim that private clouds, apart from a few processes used in public clouds, will dominate the business world. What is clear, however, is that the pace of technological change has brought the industry to a turning point at which the data center market is also being revolutionized.

Because the fact is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for CIOs to assess which capacities are required in their own data center. 64 percent of companies in Germany have made mistakes in capacity planning in the past one to two years, as an independent study on behalf of the IT service provider Colt shows. In view of the large investments associated with expanding or building a new data center, possible advantages should be carefully examined. Because the construction of a new data center is usually equated with a 20-year investment. And statements about which capacities will be needed in companies in 2034 are reading coffee grounds in times of digital transformation.

Efficient use of resources thanks to new technologies

Approaches that completely ignore the opportunities offered by cloud computing harbor the risk of excess capacity and free, unused resources. The average utilization rate of data centers is currently just six to twelve percent, as again the study "Data Center 2025" by Emerson Network Power has shown. For 2015, thanks to the establishment of a more efficient IT infrastructure and new technologies, the survey participants expect a utilization of around 70 percent. The decisive factor here is not to blindly use new technologies, but to decide on the basis of a structured analysis which data and processes can be processed via the cloud and which - depending on their critical business importance - should be handled on-premise or via server housing . This prevents unnecessary risks, disruptions and unforeseen costs associated with cloud migration.

According to Cisco's global cloud index, cloud services account for around 46 percent of current data center workloads. By 2017, this proportion is expected to increase to 63 percent. It is important that IT executives proactively learn about the opportunities and challenges of cloud computing so that they can make timely, informed decisions about building a high-performance, next-generation data center. And here is often the problem: According to the study on the use of data centers today, the planning phases for the restructuring of the data center have been extended in the past two years for 51 percent of companies that have noticed a change in their planning phases.

Various factors decide on the use of IT solutions

The factors that survey participants identified as critical in using data centers are business changes, location, energy management, and risk and compliance. When choosing a cloud provider, customers should therefore also consider the processes and managed services offerings that are offered for the different types of cloud. When customers use public cloud services for test and development activities, it is the platform itself that brings the greatest benefit to the company. Companies can be sure that all relevant processes are running in a suitable environment and are highly efficient, while still having the administration in their own hands. But if companies are looking for a cloud platform on which they want to host sensitive applications, the demands should be higher. Companies need a wider range of offers, a higher degree of scalability and customization.

Since employees today often work mobile or in regional branches, it is also becoming increasingly unimportant that a data center is in the immediate vicinity of the company. With the help of Wide Area Network (WAN) optimization, customers can get the performance they need in terms of availability and network speed over greater distances.

A few companies have already migrated their entire infrastructure to a public or private cloud environment, but in most cases it makes more sense to continue to use an on-premise infrastructure in the future. For companies, however, the optimization of conventional processes and an update of the company technology offer opportunities to save costs and thereby become more efficient and agile. Outdated infrastructures cost more to manage and it is becoming increasingly difficult to switch to innovative trends such as mobile business. And just how important this is is shown in the current Network Barometer Report from Dimension Data, which has found an increase in the wireless business of 30 percent in the last twelve months alone.

An outdated network architecture cannot deliver the benefits that a modern company needs. The advantages of using the cloud, saving costs and acting more efficiently in development, are often counteracted as a result. The Experton Group's cloud vendor benchmark also shows that many companies will switch to more agile cloud solutions in the coming years: According to this, investments and expenditures in cloud computing in Germany will double in the next two years - from 4.52 billion Euros in 2013 to around 9.23 billion euros in 2015.

The data center is not dying out

With a modern, optimized data center infrastructure, an individual mix of cloud services and stationary data centers, companies can in turn improve their range of new and existing applications and services and offer customers access that is independent of location and device. The company's own data center will not die out in the cloud era, but it will undergo a fundamental restructuring. (jha)