Over the next three years, Cisco expects 59% of cloud workloads to be Software as a Service. By 2020, IDC predicts cloud will be “the new way business is done and IT is provisioned”. And in 2022, Gartner forecasts 60% of office workers will be using cloud office systems.
Here are seven reasons this growth will have a major impact on data centres:
As legacy systems expire, the popularity of virtualisation will continue to grow. Reduced costs, finer control, ongoing and stable OpEx… the advantages of software-based cloud systems over hardware-based are many. And timely, as increased data volumes continue to ask questions of data centres’ capacities.
- Open Source
Technology’s “open“ culture will place new demands on data centres. For example, governments and businesses are continuing to open up data sets. This offers exciting possibilities in the cloud – as long as analysts have the infrastructure in place. And when it comes to open source cloud technology, the debate is still about whether OpenStack or container technologies are the better option. However, OpenStack is predicted to “emerge as one of the most widely deployed cloud OSs”. Naturally, this require suitably strong networks to ensure a free flow of data and insight.
- End of Moore’s Law
Moore’s Law continues to hold, at least for now. However, after almost 50 years is the pace slowing? Some experts believe doubling the power of computer processors every two years may no longer be possible. ”The number of transistors you can get into one space is limited, because you’re getting down to things that are approaching the size of an atom,” explains Jason Fitzpatrick, director of the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge. If this happens, hardware-based infrastructure will need to be reimagined.
- Internet of Things
Smart devices in the home may still be at the “early adopter” stage. But by 2020, 50 billion “things” will be connected. And with IoT, the data needs to be transmitted in real-time, posing new challenges in terms of bandwidth, security and speed. Not all traffic is equal, so data may need to be prioritised in the cloud to avoid bottlenecks. Because next-generation homes and businesses will require next-generation data centres.
- Technology spreads to developing nations
In Africa, internet use is forecast to grow 20-fold over the next five years. This connectivity will be mainly fuelled by an increase in the availability of cheap smartphones. In countries where there’s never been an infrastructure around landlines, the explosion in growth will be more marked. It will be up to virtual infrastructure and data centres to meet the challenges – in the cloud.
- Artificial Intelligence
AI machines such as IBM’s Watson and Google’s DeepMind regularly feature in the headlines. But the potential of crunching millions of data sets, mimicking the human brain’s behaviour, is also being explored elsewhere. From ad campaigns to algorithmic stockbrokers, to military strategies and medical diagnoses. This has created high demand for data scientists and analysts, who will need high-performance tools – and data centres – for effective cloud-based machine learning.
- Hybrid cloud to power ahead
The hybrid cloud market’s value is expected to nudge $85 billion by 2019. This substantial growth is down to a number of factors. For example, the maturing cloud market, companies’ preferring to retain an on-premises option, and simplified integration and implementation. Hybrid continues to feature heavily in the news: IBM has continued its hybrid strategy with its acquisition of Gravitant. This all underlines the importance of having advanced interconnects and seamless integration within data centres.