Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Drive Is On For Data Centre Consolidation

A recent survey among UK and European IT managers has revealed several interesting things that give us a good idea of where data centres are heading this year and next.  At the top of the list of planned expenditures for 2015 are data centre consolidations and infrastructure upgrades.  The cloud has a lot to do with it.

The survey showed that 33% of the 590 European respondents listed data centre consolidation among the top three investment priorities for 2015.  Among UK respondents, the number was about 29%.  Infrastructure upgrades were mentioned as important by 38% of the Europeans and 28% of the UK IT managers.  Putting both together paints a very intriguing picture worth delving into.

Digital Reality vice president Ricky Cooper told Computer Weekly that data centre consolidation is becoming a very popular choice for managing data across multiple environments.  He explained that leaving data distributed among multiple solutions in different locations inevitably leads to less productivity and slower speeds. Conversely, consolidating data at a single data centre boosts productivity, makes management more efficient and increases speed.

It is the position of some industry experts that 2015 will be the year that enterprise clients operating their data centres in multiple locations will seriously consider consolidating all of their data and IT services at a data centre provided by a third-party vendor.  Others may choose a hybrid solution that involves the combination of a paid service provider and limited use of their data centres.  In either case, accommodating the influx of potential new customers will require data centre owners to address infrastructure upgrades. 

Data centre owners know that modern business networking requires ever larger and more powerful servers capable of seamless virtualisation and on-demand scaling.  They also know that new enterprise customers will want the option to move data freely from one environment to the next without restriction.  All of this will require significant investment in infrastructure.

The Cloud Matures

We can thank the maturity of the cloud for leading us to a place at which we are now seriously considering data centre consolidation.  Before the cloud became the standard for enterprise networking in Europe, companies were happy to set up and maintain their data centres in order to avoid sharing resources however, with the introduction of the cloud came the idea of virtual environments enabling shared resources at a single facility.  Enterprise customers are now starting to come to the realisation that they no longer need to maintain their data centres in order to remain viable.

Data centre operators will be targeting infrastructure upgrades in 2015 in anticipation of the day when enterprise customers realise they will do better by consolidating their data in a single facility.  Should that begin happening this year, and many expect it will, the drive for data centre consolidation will be shifted into high gear.  Hopefully, we have the floor space and storage capacity to pull it all off without a hitch.

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