“A private data center is a data center that has adopted cloudlike management and methodologies,” says Paul Schaapman, CTO for the Mid-Atlantic Region at CDW. “So, I think we’ll see the trend of moving from traditional to private to public continue by adopting those low-touch approaches to managing your infrastructure. That’s going to be the future, for sure.”
Software-defined data centers, which allow businesses to move workloads elastically between the cloud and the data center, are also likely to take a firmer hold at companies across the country.
“There is a desire for IT departments to focus on simplification and agility,” says Schaapman. "Once fully implemented, software-defined data centers position IT to automate all administrative tasks, including self-service. This has the result of freeing up administrative staff to focus on IT supplied services in support of the business.”
HCI — already on the rise at businesses both large and small — will also grow in importance as the traditional data center’s usefulness declines. HCI “gives us that idea of doing more with less,” says Dave Winkelmann, field solution architect at CDW. “Long gone is the idea that a single IT administrator has to be siloed into a specific workload.”
This is where HCI can step in, enabling IT teams to simplify management and workflows and freeing them up to work on multiple projects and tasks.
“The idea is that you can consolidate infrastructure, have less hardware in the environment, which is fewer things to support, and get more visibility into your infrastructure. More important, you have one phone number for support across multiple stacks or silos of technology,” Winkelmann notes.
Small Businesses Explore Several Ways to Store Data
Upgrading data center storage typically boils down to three options: traditional storage area networks, converged and hyperconverged appliances, or virtual SANs inside a software-defined network, says Greg Schulz, founder of consulting firm Server StorageIO. The cloud is a fourth option, especially if you’re running apps there, but it’s still primarily used for remote archiving and backup from on-premises applications.
Companies confronting the need to upgrade their data centers today must often choose between the flexibility of being able to scale individual hardware components versus the simplicity of a single pane of glass for managing resources. A business's choice will likely depend in part on the legacy systems already in use, and what it’s willing to rip and replace.