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What will the datacenter of tomorrow look like?

In the data-driven nature of the business world today, having the right infrastructure in place to cope with the overwhelming amount of data is critical. Datacenters have long played an integral role in the data management practices of companies of all sizes, ensuring the mass reams of information required to run a successful enterprise are efficiently processed and stored.

As the big data trend continues to make a push, datacenters will likely grow even more significant. However, given that data sets continue to grow at an exponential rate, how exactly will datacenters change in the future?

These factors, in addition to other organizational concerns such as limited physical space and the need to cut costs, will all play a part in determining how the datacenters of tomorrow will look - and industry analysts have already started to weigh in with their insight on the likely directions .

The datacenter will be software-driven

It’s a growing dilemma among businesses today - the computing power of some of the world’s largest and fastest datacenters is quite remarkable, but for most organizations, harnessing this power and replicating it onsite is simply outside the realms of possibility. So what can be done to take advantage of the data processing levels available today, with limited resources?

The answer could be in datacenters that are driven by software applications.

This was a possibility explored in a March 7, 2014, article on Wikibon , which predicted that businesses will be operating with a software-defined datacenter in the future. According to Wikibon, these software-driven centers will feature unprecedented levels of flexibility, security and scalability, boosting data processing performance for enterprises and ensuring their datacenters can grow with the organization.

Th​e datacenter will be cloud-driven

Cloud computing is making its presence felt in just about any facet of business IT - according to the 2013 Future of Cloud Computing survey from North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOM , Software-as-a-Service is now in use in nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of organizations, representing growth of 15 percent from the previous year. Doubtless, the cloud will be an integral feature of the datacenters of tomorrow.

The datacenter will be in more than one location

In light of the growing importance of software and cloud computing to datacenters, Gartner predicts that the physical location of datacenters will become "increasingly irrelevant’ - and there will be numerous types of data location to be considered in the future.

Along with physical location, these include "legal location" (determined by the legal entities, including the organization itself, that control the data) and "logical location" (determined by where the majority of the data should be located taking logistics into account). However, Gartner Research vice president Carsten Casper warns that these seemingly disparate locations should not be taken in isolation.

"None of the types of data location solves the data residency problem alone," he said.

"Organizations will be using multiple locations with multiple service delivery models."

With that in mind, it will be ever more important moving forward to consider physical, legal and logical datacenter locations together instead of in isolation. The rise of cloud- and software-driven datacenters, aided by the open source movement, will likely assist with this.


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