With rapid digitization, organizations are increasingly shifting their critical workloads to the cloud. According to Forrester Research, the public cloud market is expected to reach $191 billion by 2020. The underlying infrastructure of traditional data centers can no longer keep pace with the explosion in cloud technology and increased need for connectivity. As more and more organizations leverage IOT, virtual reality and 3D videos, there is an increased pressure on IT departments to deliver on the promise of digital business. There is no question that data center managers will need to transform their operations by bringing storage, compute, networking and virtualization under a single hub. And they have to do this while remaining cost efficient.

Range International Information Hub is a next-gen cloud computing data center being built in Langfang, China. When completed, the data center is expected to be the same size as Pentagon and offer cloud computing infrastructure unlike any other in the world. With increased demand for speed and efficiency, automated data centers that enhance self-service such the one in Langfang can be a key driver of success.

So what are some of the things businesses should look for when setting up a new data center or upgrading an existing one?

5 Things You Should Do to Keep Your Data Center Relevant in Changing Times

    • Move towards hyper converged infrastructure: Gartner predicts that by 2019 the hyper converged market is likely to reach $5billion. Hyper converged data centers are gaining prominence in mainstream organizations as they significantly simplify IT operations. They typically leverage software-defined technology to bring all necessary functionalities under single IT stack. This enables tighter integration of storage, virtualization, networking and computing. The other advantage is you can rapidly deploy hyper converged infrastructure while enabling cost optimization and improving productivity.
    • Employ colocation and edge data centers: As organizations continue to adopt cloud computing, they will need increased cloud security. Colocation centers provide a secure cloud environment and access to your IT resources anywhere, anytime, without the expense associated with an on-premise data center. Data centers at the edge of the network are also growing in popularity, enabling businesses to keep data off of main networks. Take the case of Netflix. It uses colocation and edge data centers to improve streaming services for its remote consumers, adding significant value to the organization. Another example is the Victory Technology Center (VTC) in Western New York. An expert team retrofitted the existing data center infrastructure of closed hospital to build the optimum colocation environment for a multi-hospital healthcare system. Industry best practices, trade experts, and advanced technologies helped the center achieve high standards for redundancy, diversity, capacity, and availability.
    • Enable dedicated hybrid cloud connectivity: Today companies are deploying a mix of public and private cloud to store critical data. A robust hybrid cloud environment for data centers helps you access the advantages of both public and private cloud. It gives you the ability to manage your internal resources effectively. Not only that, it enables you to scale flexibly by tapping into external resources, as needed.
    • Employ automation: Data center and cloud automation can help you scale IT infrastructure rapidly. Automation simplifies IT operations, enhances end-user experience and enables quick deployment of IT environment including virtual machines and network devices. In essence, automation optimizes your entire IT infrastructure, allowing your IT department focus on core activities.
    • Dedicated Zone for shared services: Prepare to have dedicated zone in the cloud for shared services in your organization. For Ex: DNS, AD, Email. This helps integration between multiple cloud services and IAAS platforms.

Data centers today and beyond

The entire data center industry is rapidly evolving due to consolidation, cost control, and increasing cloud support. Software defined data centers (SDDC) will become crucial for agile digital businesses as they enable increased automation and flexibility. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 75% of global enterprise will leverage SDDC capabilities for business success. Converged infrastructure, in turn, will be critical to ensuring a robust SDDC. Choosing the right underlying infrastructure and embracing OpenStack to effectively run converged infrastructure can help bring down your IT costs significantly while enhancing time to market.