IT Departments often demonstrate a maddening trait when selecting data center solutions. They look at cloud, colo, and on-premises data centers as mutually exclusive choices. Going cloud means foregoing colo, and going on-prem means foregoing the rest. But IT workloads aren’t “one size fits all” propositions. According to Rock Crutchley, COO at Iron Mountain, “Legacy or custom-built applications can be critical to business continuity and are often difficult to migrate to the cloud. Furthermore, successfully identifying the workloads you want to migrate to the cloud does not mean they will get there overnight. Cloud migration takes time, planning and preparation.” Enter the hybrid solution.
“Hybrid IT architectures with colo as the foundation increase efficiency, lower costs, and mitigate risks when compared to environments with only in-house data centers,” wrote Crutchley in his recent Voices of the Industry article for Data Center Frontier. (Data Center Frontier). Colocation is the most logical venue for hybrid IT as providers also offer a wide-range of on-demand data center services and ecosystems that include in-market personnel for almost any resource gap.
It is important to choose a partner that can help you and your IT team navigate the choices --- including hybrid choices --- that meet your financial and service level goals.
On December 29, 2017, The Enterprisers Project published 15 predictions for tech in 2018. Enterprisers Project Predictions. Multiple predictions relate to AI – artificial intelligence – and cloud solutions. Two stand out.
Seth Noble, Founder of Data Expedition, Inc., predicts “a consolidation of best practices” for cloud migration will result in a customer-centric cloud solution paradigm rather than the current vendor-centric paradigm. This prediction seems intuitive, but it ignores a larger issue brewing under the surface --- cloud migration is not a sure bet to reduce OP EX. For every several IT groups moving to a cloud model, one will migrate back from cloud solutions to a colo or on-prem operation.
The second prediction comes from Rich Rogers, SVP, IoT product engineering, Hitachi Vantara, who believes data centers will be “fully autonomous” operations. “IoT and AI will enable data center issues to be root-caused and resolved automatically by software.” While it is nice to dream of a world where the facility manager controls the data center through “voice technologies” from “any location”, don’t bolt for the beach just yet. Even if AI and IoT were capable managing a data center without the need for human assistance, the data center industry is simply too risk / change averse for a seismic “full autonomy” shift to happen in 12 short months. It’s reasonable to expect this kind of shift, but not at the pace Rogers’ rosy view envisions.