As the world is pushed to find new ways to thrive digitally in 2020, IT infrastructure has similarly been tasked with adjusting to new and evolving data requirements. The data center — a central enabler for today’s digital economy — is modernizing quickly to ensure organizations and communities can leverage vital applications, innovations and seamless online experiences. Still, in a highly competitive and rapidly changing data landscape, how are these facilities keeping pace?
To offer an in-depth view of data center modernization, Chris Gatch, Chief Technology Officer of DC BLOX, recently joined a panel titled “Data Center Modernization in 2020.” Also participating on the panel were a number of industry peers: Brad King, Co-Founder and Field CTO of Scality; Dan Pitt, President of Palo Alto Innovation Advisors and Simon Ratcliffe, Technology Evangelist at Ensono. Throughout this presentation, these industry thought leaders offered insights into why the modern data center needs to be software‐defined, how to overcome the challenge of managing private and public clouds and how to ensure security and compliance.
Cloud was one of the major talking points throughout this discussion — as it has been across the entire technology and business landscape for some time. In terms of hybrid cloud strategies gaining momentum, Gatch observes that customers are grappling with what belongs in the public cloud at a distance versus what requires local deployment. To get the best of both and optimize all sorts of workloads, enterprises, local governments and research institutions are establishing localized infrastructure for their own purposes while also pushing appropriate apps out to the cloud.
This cloud development is also being expressed in a changing infrastructural footprint. Where the public cloud providers have traditionally been located in five major markets across the U.S., it’s anticipated that with the creation of AWS Outpost and Azure Stack, hybrid cloud implementations will proliferate. What is now a concentrated model will soon become a distributed edge model, and the new focus that will come with this distribution will be on connectivity and software-defined networking. The modern networking perspective understands that connectivity has many more dimensions than the industry has previously had to deal with. In the data center in particular, networking is now being revolutionized to suit a connectivity-first model.
As connectivity evolves to suit more dynamic user demands, and as infrastructure looks to be optimized on a case-by-case basis, the data center is prioritizing more flexibility in the interconnection with local devices and applications that require low-latency performance. The industry is seeing new varieties of networking fabrics within the data center, along with new software architectures that are built to ensure the interconnection matches the requirements of each unique application.
This need to deliver the right performance for the right workloads at the right time is why DC BLOX has architected its collection of data centers to perform essentially as one multi-location facility. With a software-defined connectivity fabric that enables all its locations to act as one seamless unit, customers can have one port on the fabric and be connected to any point across the network and to its ecosystem of communications partners. This approach enables the agility and flexibility that today’s customer needs. Software-defined capabilities support one connection to the network with virtual cross connects to other data centers, or even to a public cloud provider or a storage platform.
Dynamic interconnectivity provisioning like we’re seeing defines the modernized data center experience. As customers demand more from their IT to incorporate new partners, platforms and remote workforces, the data center will continue to become more flexible and support an array of digital transformations. The push to the edge will continue as performance and latency needs increase, and optimizing and connecting workloads wherever located will be at the forefront of data center evolution.
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