Enterprises undergoing digital transformation demand capabilities that support ever increasing data volumes and data rates. Hence, to future-proof data center (DC) networks, IT and facilities teams require the right technologies that align with sustainable investment strategies.
One prevailing trend that extends from 2018 is the growing demand and investments by businesses and organizations for both centralized cloud data center services as well as edge data centers.
On one hand, "the very techniques developed by hyperscale cloud giants are now migrating to the enterprise, where distributed applications now rule," according to Scott Raynovich, chief analyst at Futuriom. "There's more pressure than ever for networks to perform, and new technologies are beginning to be deployed to make sure that networks don't become the bottleneck for the cloud."
Equally, today's digital-economy businesses are placing more compute, networking and storage resources in edge DCs close to the end user for fast and seamless access to critical applications and data. These edge DCs help to optimize response times that users of e-commerce and cloud-based applications expect.
"The edge is driving efficient bandwidth utilization and minimizing connections and physical reach that introduce latency into the infrastructure," noted Dr. Rick Pimpinella, chief engineer of Panduit. "Together with other data growth areas, edge computing applications will generate petabytes of data, daily, by 2020. Systems that intelligently process data to create business advantage will be essential to our customers' future prosperity."
Agile digital organizations rely on efficient DCs built on simplified designs and flexible infrastructure platforms. "We are witnessing increased automation, more integrated solutions and software-defined capabilities that are reducing the reliance on silo-systems," Dr. Pimpinella added. "This allows users to take advantage of highly flexible infrastructure to drive more capacity, monitoring and analysis, and increase efficiency within the data center."
In this landscape, IT and facilities teams face responsibilities and challenges to deploy a data center – whether on-site or in a co-located facility – that fully address their every need. Increased cloud maturity and edge DCs, along with the advent of 5G mobility and proliferation of endpoints, have placed the spotlight on networks as the main driver of improved data-center performance and scalability.
Priorities and solutions
To manage evolving needs, network teams must collaborate heavily with other business units evolving needs. "It's no longer about hardware or software — it's about delivering services that accomplish business needs," observed Ross Winser, senior director analyst at Gartner. "The future of infrastructure is everywhere and anywhere, and will be business-driven by nature."
For IT and facilities teams, challenges range from designing, procuring and implementing the right IT and facilities to controlling costs and conserving energy usage. The typical multi-vendor, piecemeal approach today forces DC operators to oversee often-costly integration to ensure interoperability. They need to consider issues around support, management, operational inefficiencies and an increased potential for service level agreement (SLA) failures.
Further, DCs have to be purpose-built according to an organization's business direction and long-term growth projections.The pressure to sustainfast and efficient scalability puts increasing strain on IT and facilities teams to fulfill capacity needs or migrate to higher data speeds.
This is where the Panduit Data Center Solutions, designed as an interoperable end-to-end solution, streamline the process of designing, specifying, installing and managing the physical infrastructure. The solutions optimize the data center for current and future needs. They also facilitate faster implementation to allow IT and facilities stakeholders to stay ahead of demands.
Organizations also stand to minimize risk, required resources and total cost of ownership through the following capabilities:
Converged infrastructure that evolves with business needs: A scalable architecture addresses changing business demands while lowering TCO and optimizing IT investments. For example, it delivers accelerated design and seamless implementation to bring new 40/100G networks to a traditional facility.
High-speed connectivity: As DC convergence gains traction, Panduit's High-Speed Data Transport fiber and copper systems ease the stress on physical infrastructure. They increase network throughput; reduce latency; and improve agility, scalability, and ROI to support new applications, such as the Internet of Things.
Cooling optimization: By delivering complete visibility and control through real-time monitoring, organizations are armed with actionable information to reduce cooling energy use by up to 50%.
Foundation to meet SLAs, timelines and budgets: An efficient and reliable infrastructure foundation – including cable management, pathways, security, grounding and bonding, and identification systems – places DC managers in a better position to meet SLAs and deliver projects on time and budget. This infrastructure is supported by Panduit Advisory Services.
Visibility to mitigate business and technology risks: Panduit's DC infrastructure management solutions provide a holistic view of the physical infrastructure with real-time data on the status of power, cooling, connectivity, security, and environmentals from the enterprise to individual devices in data center cabinets.
Solid infrastructure to drive co-location revenue: Panduit's innovative physical infrastructure enable colocation service providers to build a better data center experience for tenants. Highly agile, scalable and fast-to-install infrastructure translates to faster on-boarding and increased revenue.
As IT and facilities teams consider DC priorities for 2019, Dr. Pimpinella emphasizes the importance of design creating the most effective and efficient solution to meet real needs. "We can only do this when we step out of the silo and view the wider opportunities," he advised.
This is a QuestexAsia feature commissioned by Panduit.