Top Data Center Trends and Predictions for 2015

2015-03-14 00:05:19

What changes are in store for the data center in 2015? 

First and foremost, it may be useful to point out that some of the predictions and trends we will be talking about have been discussed in the past  from time to time. What we want to focus on here are not only predictions, but also trends that are now and already well along in the making. We have a tendency to forget how long it takes for any industry to actually make the full shift to a new and more disruptive paradigm. So perhaps the biggest prediction is the old saw, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

It is important to point out that no one has done anything “wrong” by continuing on with old, perhaps even outdated, design and technology, beyond incremental evolutionary improvements, because across corporate enterprise and government, the primary role of the data center capacity planner is to provide 24/7 uptime availability, reliability and resiliency. It is NOT – for the vast majority of businesses – to “innovate”

Having said that, the sheer growth in data, and digital intelligent devices of all kinds will drive profound global growth in data centers. Here are some of the current trends and future predictions either behind or resulting from this growth in data we will see in the coming year:

1. Internet of Things

Digitizing everything creates new business opportunities for managing the flow of data, creating new revenue sources, operating system controls, and extending businesses into new markets and technologies. Examples include utility billing and Uber ride-sharing.

Fixed-line is expected to carry over 90% of the traffic for industrial Internet of Things (IoT). Besides that, intelligent embedded systems will contribute 65% of all units. Telcos could gain from these by offering IoT-managed services, which is forecast to reach about U.S. $775 million by 2015 for the Asia Pacific region.

The data created by Internet of Everything (IoE) will reach 403 zettabytes (ZB) per year by 2018, up from 113 ZB in 2013. By 2018, IoE devices will create twice the amount of data end users transmit to data centers and be 47 times greater than total data center traffic.

There will be 30 billion connected end-points by 2020.

Industry consolidation is a key driver for wider IoT adoption, especially as market participants(via strategic alliances) work to define standards across the value chain.

2. The Rise of the Converged “Digital Enterprise”

The Digital Enterprise, to me, means the transformation of business from one where computing and networking technology is the extension of the human organization to one where the human and the digital – the real and the virtual – are converged and indistinguishable. The global business disruption of the Digital Enterprise is about convergence in four areas:

Convergence of the technologies of Social, Mobile, Sensing, the Internet of Things, Big Data/Analytics and Cloud;
Integration of the organizational functional/departmental siloes;

Blending of the real and the virtual;

Continuum, bi-directional, supply chain to customer and back.

3. Cloud – public and private

Consider the following from Cisco’s latest Cloud Index Report from Cisco:
In 2015, 70% of all workloads will be processed in cloud data centers.
Cloud data center traffic will increase 4X faster than traditional data center traffic.
Public cloud workload growth rate will be 50% higher than its private counterpart.
By 2018, 53% (2 billion) of the consumer Internet population will use personal cloud storage, up from 38% (922 million) in 2013.

Cloud-based services provide consumers and businesses with access to applications and content through any device at any location, which contributes to the proliferation of mobile data communications and creates even more cloud-based traffic.

By 2018, more than three quarters (78%) of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers and almost a quarter (22%) will be processed by traditional data centers.

Overall data center workloads will nearly double from 2013 to 2018. However, cloud workloads will nearly triple over the same period.
Cisco GCI forecasts that glob

al consumer cloud storage traffic will grow from 2 exabytes (EB) annually in 2013 to 19.3 EB by 2018 at a CAGR of 57%. This growth translates to per-user traffic of 811 MB per month by 2018, compared to 186 MB per month in 2013.