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5 tech trends that will impact data centres in the future

Bonnie Gardiner | May 26, 2015
These changes will impact IT departments with flow on effects for business units and the c-suite.

"Depending on whom you talk to it could solve world hunger or it's a specific niche protocol."

The faster technology changes, the more we find ways to use it, or abuse it, and it's not slowing down any time soon. Last year, NTT Japan successfully tested a fibre optic cable which pushes 14 trillion bits per second down a single strand of fibre and that's very fast.

Software-defined infrastructure can reduce the cost and complexity of a network, plus drastically improve work flow and management.

"The most difficult part of IT infrastructures to manage or change is the network, with probably the most highly paid people in the data centre doing so," says Cappuccio.

"When you need better data centre performance they have optimised it at a device-by-device level, and that's very expensive, very time consuming and not very adaptive.

"What if we created an environment we managed with software instead? Then we can manage it based on a common set of principles ... suddenly the environment seems a lot more flexible, potentially a lot more scalable and a lot more adaptive."

Cappuccio says in this environment you can potentially tie in networks, storage, servers, data centres - everything - into the software defined infrastructure. If you can build an environment like the virtual data centre, it doesn't really matter where the physical components reside, so long as you can tie them all together.

This trend can also change the way we look at projects, changing from a technology point of view to a work flow point of view. Customers can log in from different parts of the world, network traffic would change, and you can manipulate it to get optimum work flow out of the network, based on demand.

The main issue with SDx is, like many trends, many vendors have jumped on the bandwagon really quickly, with software defined stores popping up everywhere filled with the same products but with new terms.

"A lot of them are not quite what we'd call 'software defined', the two terms out there are software defined networks (SDN) and software defined data centres (SDDC). I've heard one vendor say 'software defined power'. I'm waiting for 'software defined software' to pop up, everyone seems to have their own term," says Cappuccio.

Another issue is the drastic impact it will have on your most important people working in the data centre, such as storage and network management.

"It is organisationally disruptive, it changes how to do things, who is responsible and in most cases, it changes the skillsets," says Cappuccio.

"The choice is let those workers get aggravated with the changes and find a way around the problem, or get them involved early to find out the best way to do it, which Gartner recommends," says Cappuccio.


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