Data centers provide the very foundation for our increasingly digitized world. Yet, misconceptions persist about data centers, from their role, to how they operate, to why they are located where they are, to what the future holds for them given the rapid pace of technology development. As one of the world’s largest data center providers, Digital Realty is debunking six of the most common myths to help set the record straight.
Click through as six common data center myths are debunked, as identified by Digital Realty.
Myth 1: Data centers are becoming obsolete thanks to the cloud.
This myth keeps reemerging – that new technologies and the growth of the public cloud are reducing the need or demand for data centers. The reality is quite the opposite: The cloud lives in data centers. The amount of data being generated is growing at an insanely rapid pace from such trends as mobile computing, Big Data analytics, the Internet of Things, the industrial Internet…and the list goes on. All of this data requires data center space, regardless of whether it’s in the public cloud, a private cloud or a dedicated enterprise data center.
Myth 2: Data centers are running out of power.
There is a belief that power consumption within data centers is going through the roof, and that soon data centers will reach some maximum point where additional power is unavailable – limiting growth. Reality: We’ll likely run out of physical floor space well before we would ever reach the point where data centers would run out of power. Technology advancements are making compute and networking technologies far more efficient. Thus, while the amount of data being crunched, stored and exchanged in data centers is growing, power use is actually relatively flat.
Myth 3: Enterprises should have no more than two data centers per continent.
Gartner recently came out with the recommendation that enterprises should consolidate their data centers to no more than two per continent. This is an excellent goal to strive for, but it is not always feasible or desirable for different types of organizations. There are situations, for example, where companies need their data to be near their customers or trading partners or major population centers. Regardless, it is good advice to have fewer rather than more data centers for any given organization.
Myth 4: Data center space is expensive.
Leasing space allows companies to pay for what they need and scale as their requirements and business grow. Given today’s data-driven economy, a company’s data are critical business assets that should be treated as such. When thinking about the value of your data compared to the cost of having a safe place to hold and make use of your data, data center space is a relative bargain in most cases. We’re finding that many startups start out using the public cloud because it requires no upfront cost and it’s quick and easy to get started. However, as they grow, they find the cost and lack of control/flexibility make it more advantageous to move to a private cloud or dedicated data center. Over time, most organizations will have some combination of all three.
Myth 5: Demand for data center space is set to decline due to new technologies.
New technologies absolutely are shrinking the density of compute and storage (while also improving energy efficiency). But the density trend line cannot keep pace with the rate of data growth and proliferating digitization. Enterprise applications are moving to the cloud, mobilization is driving increased mobile traffic to keep us all continuously connected, the Internet of Things is set to take off, creating a new source of massive amounts of data, and who knows what will come next. GoGrid, a cloud infrastructure service, for example, has been experiencing such strong demand among enterprises for its cloud-based services for running Big Data and other applications and platforms that it quickly outgrew its existing operational infrastructure. It turned to Digital Realty to build a data center that could meet its needs and enable it to continue to scale.
Myth 6: Data centers are mainly data stores.
In an increasingly digitized world, data is also one of a company’s most critical strategic assets. Data centers are not purely a place to store static data, they are actually the nexus for today’s digital economy. Data centers are laboratories where data is analyzed, resulting in new discoveries; they’re financial exchanges where trading partners share data and make split-second transactions; they are foundries for innovative new services that make our lives better and easier; they are communications centers that enable us to keep in touch with friends, loved ones, colleagues and clients anywhere and anytime.