The Changing Face of the Data Centre

Data Centre Re-SizeThe demands placed on data centres by organisations and individual users have changed dramatically as we become increasingly data-driven. Server consolidation, desktop virtualisation and the adoption of as-a-Service propositions has changed the way we think about IT. Infrastructure has become borderless, connectivity is ubiquitous, users are mobile and data has got bigger.

Hybrid cloud infrastructures are the future for many organisations. The trouble is, traditional network infrastructures frequently feature technological or operational limits that make them ill-suited to serve the demands of a hybrid cloud environment.

Line-of-business purchasers are exerting more influence over data centre investment and operations thant are traditional IT decisions. A wide range of internal and external factors are shaping the data centre of the future; including social/cultural change, business objectives, user demands and the technology itself.

Omni-channel engagement with customers and supply chain places demands on the immediacy of data access and the volume of data as real-time interaction takes place on-network, 24 x 7.

Data has become the currency of organisations and is both an attractive target for cyber-crime and the victim of human error (half of data breaches are the result of a lost or stolen device). The collation, sharing and storage of data is becoming increasingly regulated as legislation and obligation combine to dictate compliance.

As businesses embrace as-a-service propositions it changes the way IT is financed and further influences the growth of data. Remote workers, BYOD and the internet of things adds complexity to the IT estate; encouraging IT departments to adopt standardisation of connectivity, application and data management.

The inherent flexibility and scalability of cloud solutions is driving the growth of “variable IT” as businesses provision, scale and decommission services at will. The move to IT as an operational expense rather than a capital expense has also changed the way businesses deliver core infrastructure.

As the datacentre changes, it necessitates changes within the WAN. Organisations will need to allow for connectivity to third party service providers, storage, back-up and DR facilities. They will also need to make allowances for the increase in data volume and variance.

Securing Tomorrow’s Data Centre

As the modern data centre evolves to provide greater agility and resilience, it needs to change the way it looks at security. Security means different things to different stakeholders – access control, data integrity, user authentication. For IT, it means a strategy that allows administrators to set, scale and reset a range of security protocols and processes across the entire organisation.

Data centre managers will need to evaluate the deployment of threat detection and prevention systems to determine where existing controls can be leveraged; or where new systems need to be implemented to address the borderless nature of modern business communications.

Security in the modern data centre needs to represent a value proposition, delivering benefits across the organisation as a whole. IDC research identifies a number of key business benefits: 33.5% more productivity from IT security operations, 80.7% less unplanned downtime as a result of security breaches and 63.8% faster deployment of new applications and services.

However, in order to generate genuine value, security solutions need to be integrated, policy based, robust and agile:

  • Integration across the data centre environment eliminates silos, simplifies management and helps minimise exposure to risk
  • Policy-based solutions can be automated and provisioned as-a-Service to eliminate management overhead
  • Comprehensive functionality is required to cater for all processes and data flows into, out of and within the data centre
  • Deployment needs to be on-demand in order to provide maximum protection and accelerate the time to market for new applications and services

If you would like to discover more about the role of security and the changing face of the data centre, contact ONI direct on 01582 429 999 or email