Predictions 2020:  Building Your DCIM Roadmap

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Trend #4: Data Center Management and Operations

It takes 24 hours for the Earth to fully revolve on its axis.  Typically, this is enough time for anyone to plan and execute daily goals.  But in the technology world, hours can seem like seconds – as IT is faced with a flood of new challenges every day.  It’s more than keeping the infrastructure up and running; it’s planning for what’s next and staying ahead of the curve.  Evolving trends such as Big Data and IoT are shifting the axis of IT, thus creating new requirements for effective data center management.

As a highly integrated fabric of servers, storage, and software – corporate data centers demand careful, hands-on maintenance.  Effective control and management of the infrastructure, data and all associated components have consistently been primary drivers of business success.  As outlined in our eBook – “In the Year 2020:  Five Previews of Coming Attractions for the Modern Data Center” – we outline how these capabilities will become even more critical in the decade ahead.

Not a day goes by without data center operators being faced with new technologies and challenges.  The Internet of Things (IoT) is defining the market, constructing a future where every day physical objects are connected via the Internet to identify with other devices.  Current analyst reports estimate the IoT market will reach $1.7 trillion by 2020, as an increasing number of new devices come online alongside new platforms and services.

Simultaneously, companies are impacted by an exploding Big Data universe, characterized by extremely large data sets to analyze and uncover patterns.  Led by an ability to power real business decisions, the Big Data market is expected to reach about $40 billion by 2018 – and is growing five times faster than the overall IT market.  These dramatic developments translate into a heightened requirement for IT management and control.

Few companies have the in-house IT resources to maintain seamless data center operations while implementing the latest developments.  CIOs are likely to be consumed with day-to-day operations and have little time to visualize how Big Data and IoT can help the business improve efficiencies and accelerate revenue.  Increasingly, CenturyLink is helping companies increase IT efficiency by trading on-premises infrastructures for cloud or managed IT services.  According to IDC, a majority will reduce or even eliminate many server rooms, closets and data centers during the next five years.  Thus, a renewed focus will emerge on service specialization, while outsourcing infrastructure maintenance.

With data center performance and efficiency as primary concerns, such technologies as Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) are taking center stage.  The IT management approach converges IT and facilities to present a real-time, holistic view of data center performance — allowing energy, equipment, and floor space to be used more efficiently.  Effective DCIM fills management gaps by performing new operations, such as:  Asset Tracking, Change Management, Analysis of Virtual and Logical Systems, Utility Management and Control, Resource Consolidation and Modeling.

And DCIM and managed services are set to lead the emerging data center of 2020 and beyond. This approach focuses on consolidating servers and locations, while expanding performance of computational and transactional tasks on the edge of computing.  As data centers will require more automation and application containers, premier security is even more critical.  Directed by top service providers like CenturyLink, DCIM utilizes data analytics to set automatic triggers for expanding or reducing capacity as necessary.  Colocation customers can capture the value of just-in-time consumption, backed by automated security to negotiate encryption levels for each application.  Combined, these factors will power availability of new operational resources that focus more on value-added IT strategies.  Perhaps that’s the reason more than 40 percent of DCIM vendors predict automation and control will eventually lead the way to a self-healing network.

It’s been said time waits for no man, and the phrase is even more accurate given the heterogeneous nature of global data centers.  Escorted by cloud, managed services and DCIM solutions powered by leaders like CenturyLink, businesses are better equipped to tackle the IT complexities of tomorrow.

For a view of what CenturyLink predicts the future of the data center will look like—including more thoughts on how DCIM is going to change data center services and how they are delivered—read the 5 Ways to Future-Proof Your Data Center e-book.

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