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8 Data Center Trends that Affect IT Teams

If one concept holds true as a technology solutions company, it’s that our field is constantly changing. The evolution of cloud solutions happens so quickly that it can be tough to keep up with the trends. Nevertheless, it’s important to stay informed because these changes to our IT environments almost always benefit IT teams in the long run. From custom solutions to instant scalability, the advantages these trends bring allow teams to better use their time and focus on big-picture plans.

We tapped into our in-house experts, partners and media to gather eight trends in data centers that can greatly affect IT teams as their infrastructure evolves.

1. SHUTTING DOWN DATA CENTERS (OR PARTS OF THEM) AND MOVING TO COLOCATION AS A SERVICE

Colocation allows companies to rent space in a shared data center. This can be especially beneficial for teams who work from home because it makes it easier to backup remote users. Colocation can also level the playing field between small and large companies because it provides greater access to IT infrastructure with less responsibility—and a lower cost—of managing it. Pay close attention to the service-level agreements (SLAs) that technology solutions companies guarantee, such as uptime, technical support, security and more. These SLAs are far more important than the underlying technology in colocation centers (since the technology is generally pretty advanced).

2. MIGRATING FROM HARDWARE PURCHASES TO OPEX CONSUMPTION

The trend of migrating away from expensive, time-consuming on-premise hardware purchases toward nimble, scalable operational expenses (OpEx) will be prevalent in coming years.

OpEx consumption allows IT teams to increase innovation, customizing the solutions and services they need—while only paying for the amount used. In addition, IT teams spend less time on maintaining and servicing traditional hardware and more time on the “interesting” projects.

3. ADDING ON-DEMAND SCALING OPTIONS

When it comes to traditional storage solutions, we typically see one of two situations play out as a technology solutions company: 1) companies purchase too much space and pay for more than they need, or 2) they don’t purchase enough space and need more in a pinch.

The good news is that companies that embrace on-demand scaling options such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) don’t have to gamble with storage space. Think of IaaS as an elastic option—quick innovation, instant scaling, great flexibility, and no more overprovisioning.

4. CREATING A STRATEGY FOR DATA ARCHIVING VERSUS BACKUP

Knowing the difference between data archiving and data backup can mean significant cost savings on IT expenses. It’s common for companies to ignore the difference and use data backup for storing files that could be archived at a lower cost.

Many options exist for backing up files such as cloud, on-premise, backup as a service (BaaS), and tiered storage options. If you’re going to focus on one area of improvement in the next year, make it a strategy for backing up data. Having spent 30+ years as a technology solutions company, we developed this free data storage assessment to evaluate your current storage solutions.

5. EXTENDING ENTERPRISE DATA PROTECTION STRATEGIES TO THE CLOUD

It’s no longer enough to rely on on-premise backup. A strong backup strategy includes hybrid protection that use the cloud in addition to on-premise. While each backup solution will be different based on company needs, the most effective way to plan for data backup is to discuss a cohesive strategy for on-premise, hyperscalers, aaS and more to be sure data is protected inside the office and out.

6. MAKING THE TRANSITION TO A SOFTWARE-DEFINED DATA CENTER

A software-defined data center gives IT teams more control over their data center with the ability to deploy and manage infrastructure anywhere. Also known as a virtual data center, the biggest benefit is increased agility to reconfigure the data center and resources in just minutes.

7. USING YOUR IT STAFF WISELY

You have a smart team—that’s why you hired them. Sure, they could perform routine updates and backups, but is that the best use of their time and skillset?

This is the year for offloading mundane tasks to vendors who efficiently and routinely perform maintenance. Your team’s effort is better put toward innovation and projects that show the true potential of IT in achieving business objectives.

8. NVMe™ IS EXTENDING INTO THE DATA CENTER

Consider NVMe the go-to racecar of accessing high-speed storage media. Even if you aren’t buying NVMe technology yourself, the technology you’re buying likely already has it embedded. The key to this protocol is providing faster speeds with less latency. As companies consider adding NVMe to their data center, it’s important to research a better fabric solution like a software-defined data center.

These trends are our predictions for what IT teams will focus on for data centers over the next few years. Implementing these can seem daunting, but don’t let cloud solutions overwhelm you. As a technology solutions company, our team of IT experts is here to guide you toward the solutions that fit best for your individual business goals.

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