Enterprise workloads are becoming increasingly erratic, in terms of volume and data dependency, which is making it difficult to plan even medium-term infrastructure needs with any degree of accuracy.
This is putting a damper on the deployment of traditional data center infrastructure, which can often take years to plan and construct, by which time the assumptions used to guide its development are usually way off the mark. Instead, the industry is witnessing a distinct upsurge in data center on-demand (DCoD) strategies that rely on a mixed bag of hyperconverged infrastructure, abstract data architectures and cloud computing.
According to Wise Guy Reports, the DCoD market is growing at nearly a 20 percent compound annual rate, which will likely produce close to $2 billion in revenue by 2022. The field is set to experience a dramatic jump over the next year or so as container technologies make it easier to encapsulate full data ecosystems in a portable, abstract environment capable of relocating to remote central or, increasingly, edge processing facilities. This gives the enterprise unprecedented ability to shift resources and applications to regions where activity is heaviest and then just as easily pull them back on the downturn.
Many large organizations will maintain fixed infrastructure on-premises, but small and medium-sized organizations will undoubtedly choose highly scalable cloud resources. BizTech Magazine notes that IDC predicts that non-cloud spending is on pace to decline by 4.4 percent this year, while cloud spending is expected to top $500 billion by the end of the decade. Cloud deployments are most common at fast-moving companies that do not face the same regulatory burdens of traditional verticals like finance and health care, says tech analyst Rob Enderle (also an ITBE contributor). At the same time, it provides the ability to scale resource consumption on-demand to produce dramatic cost savings over fixed infrastructure.
Nowhere is this capability more prized than in Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT). Already, many of the leading data analytics platforms are taking advantage of the prevalence of on-demand resources by boosting data connectivity, resource compilation, governance and other capabilities. Hortonworks, for instance, offers new metadata tag management in the new HDP 2.5 platform, which can be tied to layered data security tools that span both on-premises and cloud-based deployments. As well, it incorporates the Enterprise Apache Spark at Scale platform to support agile analytics across geo-distributed infrastructure.
The need for on-demand services is also spurring the world’s telecommunications carriers to get in on the software-defined data center (SDDC) market. Companies like Verizon and AT&T are enabling a variety of virtual network services, and now they are turning to traditional IT vendors to produce data environments that are compatible with legacy enterprise infrastructure. Verizon’s latest match-up is with Oracle to enable easy connectivity to the cloud through their respective Secure Cloud Interconnect and FastConnect platforms. The idea is to provide consumption-based bandwidth, pre-provisioned on-demand resources and controlled application performance through the Verizon Dynamic Network Manager working in conjunction with the Oracle Network Cloud Service portfolio.
The enterprise quest for on-demand resources is largely the result of data users’ desire to access consumer applications and services wherever, whenever and however they choose. In a mobile, dynamic data universe, encountering static resources is like getting stuck behind a horse-and-buggy while driving a sports car on a one-lane road.
The transition to on-demand infrastructure won’t happen overnight, but it will dominate IT expansion over the coming decade – to the point that any platform that does not further instant service fulfilment will probably not find a home in emerging enterprise infrastructure.
Arthur Cole writes about infrastructure for IT Business Edge. Cole has been covering the high-tech media and computing industries for more than 20 years, having served as editor of TV Technology, Video Technology News, Internet News and Multimedia Weekly. His contributions have appeared in Communications Today and Enterprise Networking Planet and as web content for numerous high-tech clients like TwinStrata and Carpathia. Follow Art on Twitter @acole602.