Are IT professionals ready to kill the data center? Thanks to the cloud, the death of the data center might be closer than you think. Because the fact is, cloud and hybrid-could environments are more popular with consumers and enterprise professionals than ever before. And for good reason. Moving your data from on-site storage into the cloud is convenient, efficient, cost-effective and secure. Just about the only people not happy with this state of affairs are those that work at data centers.
The Cloud… In Your Data Center?
A 2019 study by Gartner found that nearly 80% of enterprises plan to shut down their traditional data centers by 2025. Then, right after the study, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the death of the data center was accelerated as even more businesses moved to the cloud. Today, companies are accelerating their cloud migration plans. And they are doing this to take advantage of freeing themselves from the shackles of internal infrastructure management.
Still, others believe that the cloud will not entirely kill the data center, but instead will transform it. Although cloud services will play a key role in how companies deliver core applications and services, there are still reasons for data centers to exist. You can see this in the types of investments major cloud providers are making in having their solutions run within your data center.
Three of the four big U.S. cloud players have already created software solutions that can be deployed into your data center. Google Anthos, Azure Stack, and AWS Outposts can all be modified to work within client data centers. And while IBM does not yet have an offering, now that they own Red Hat, expect to see something soon. For now, those migrating to the IBM cloud can work with the IBM Cloud Integration Platform.
Data Centers Won’t Go Quietly
The private data center model is one way these businesses can stay viable. Those that have shifted their facilities to offer private or hybrid cloud access could see renewed interest in their products and services. The term data center is most commonly applied to mean “public cloud” at a provider’s data center, while private cloud denotes dedicated infrastructure. This dedicated infrastructure may occur on-premises or with the help of a provider who offers this option.
While it’s clear the cloud will not lead to the complete demise of the data center, it has forced them to evolve with the times. From private data centers to hybrid clouds, hardware is continuously being repurposed. Now, you’ve even got hyper-scale data centers, which are data centers that have been beefed up to meet the most demanding applications and traffic.
To survive, modern data centers need to answer one important question: Why is society using the cloud in such high numbers? While experts used to think it was due to cost-efficiency, this is no longer the case. Today, consumers and enterprises are flocking to the cloud for its flexibility, accessibility and security. Data centers that can meet these needs, either through the cloud or localized services, will likely succeed far longer than those that don’t.