The data center has undergone many changes in the past decades and, looking ahead, such evolution will continue with the use of technologies like virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN). GCN reported that someone working years ago would not recognize the modern data center of today. Three decades from now, current employees will likely express the same sentiment.
David Bourgeois, chief cloud executive at VMware, said SDN data centers are those that have all of their infrastructures virtualized. Also, the management of such systems is handled by software, GCN reported.
“What this emerging trend is essentially doing is taking what has happened over the last 15 years with server virtualization and bringing that to the network and storage levels,” Bourgeois said, according to the news source. “Once these three levels of the infrastructure have been virtualized, the data center becomes orders of magnitude more agile than ever before.”
Cloud computing also impacting data centers
Virtualization and SDN solutions are not the only ones greatly influencing data centers. Eric Woods, director at Pike Research, explained that energy consumption is a key factor for any data center, TechTarget reported. Cloud computing, which is one of the most disruptive technologies throughout the IT industry, is more efficient than traditional systems, he said.
The future of information communication technology (ICT) in particular will focus largely on carbon emissions moving forward. A study conducted by Verdantix suggested that ICT’s carbon footprint is projected to double between 2011 and 2020. The report also noted that cloud computing figures to play a crucial role in addressing this development. Green cloud solutions may reduce carbon emissions by nearly 86 million metric tons annually by 2020, while simultaneously lowering energy bills by $12.3 billion, TechTarget reported.
A Pike Research report also highlighted the vast potential of cloud computing in terms of enhancing energy efficiency. By 2020, cloud-based data centers will consume roughly 140 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, compared to 201.8 TWh in 2010, according to the news source. The research firm predicted that energy spending will be reduced from $23.3 billion in 2010 to $16 billion by 2020 thanks to the cloud.
Cloud computing has often been touted as a cost-effective technology. If industry research continues to assert that the solution holds even greater energy efficiency potential , companies that neglect to take advantage of hosted environments will likely be in the vast minority.