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Next Generation Data Center

[Mariaberget, Stockholm, Sweden - Unspalsh]


- Data Centers Are Evolving

Rapid development of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, and 5G will bring a new golden era and market demand for data centers will increase dramatically. At the same time, data centers are facing challenges such as difficulty to obtain construction resources, long construction period, and high energy consumption. 

In addition, data centers also face many challenges in terms of architecture flexibility and O&M. Next generation data centres are largely virtualised and spread across multiple geographical sites and public, private and hybrid cloud environments. Deploying, securing and connecting next generation data centers is a complex task. 

Designing the data center for the cloud era, optimal user experience, maximum agility, performance, security, simplicity and automation requires multi-disciplined, skilled engineers. Today, vendors offer a number of Data Centre architectures and technology, such as Cisco ACI, Juniper Networks MetaFabricTM, and Arista, using standard open API or proprietary interfaces. Selecting the right data center technology and vendor is not as simple as it seems. A lot needs to change when transforming a data centre from legacy to a modern cloud infrastructure.

The following are the detailed trends of the modern data enters over the next few years.

- Decentralization

Decentralization - moving data, processing and resources away from the organization’s local data center or corporate hub, out as far as edge devices - will help enable faster processing. A decentralization approach may also involve shifting resources and focus. 

Modern data centers are very different than they were just a short time ago. Infrastructure has shifted from traditional on-premises physical servers to virtualized infrastructure that supports applications and workloads across pools of physical infrastructure and into a multi-cloud environment. 

In this era, the modern data center is wherever its data and applications are. It stretches across multiple public and private clouds to the edge of the network via mobile devices and embedded computing. In this constantly shifting environment, the data center must reflect the intentions of users and applications. 

As 5G-fueled hyperconnectivity expands enterprise networks and moves data processing to the edge, technology leaders and engineers must reimagine the data center to stay in the race. Future data centers will inevitably require adequate processing power - locally, in the cloud and at the edge - to effectively manage new challenges around bandwidth, security and tools like AI, advanced analytics, 5G, edge computing and more.


[Alberta, Canada]

- Software and Hardware Disaggregation

Software and hardware disaggregation is driving new product categories for next-generation data centers (DCs) that include converged appliances, high-density servers, and software-defined storage and networking equipment. Within these converged DCs, the hottest areas of hardware innovation are converged infrastructure platforms that integrate hyper- and rack-scale hardware with virtualized software stacks for compute and storage. 

Openness leads to innovation. The model of closed infrastructure platform with proprietary interfaces, proprietary software and proprietary hardware cannot deliver the flexibility and cost-efficiency to meet growing demand. The underlying infrastructure of today’s IT data center must be built on a solid foundation, but one that’s flexible enough to adapt to ever-changing business needs. That flexibility should also extend to the data center networking hardware and software; they must allow users to turn on new features, functionality, and services with the same velocity as today’s changing business requirements. 

Network disaggregation gives customers the freedom to choose  switch hardware and software operating system from different vendors. This is very much like buying a server and then installing your choice of operating system on it.


- Software-defined Data Center (SDDC)

Software-defined data center (SDDC) is the phrase used to refer to a data center where all infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service. Control of the data center is fully automated by software, meaning hardware configuration is maintained through intelligent software systems. This is in contrast to traditional data centers where the infrastructure is typically defined by hardware and devices. 

Software-defined data centers are considered by many to be the next step in the evolution of virtualization and cloud computing as it provides a solution to support both legacy enterprise applications and new cloud computing services. 

There are three core components of the software-defined data center: network virtualization, server virtualization and storage virtualization. A business logic layer is also required to translate application requirements, service level agreements, policies and cost considerations.


- Connectors and Cables

The demand for bandwidth-intensive, data-driven services is driving growth in computing, data storage, and networking capabilities. These rises put pressure on connectors and cables to transmit data at higher speeds, better signals and less heat. 

Whether it's the implementation of 5G, our growing reliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning, or the rapid impact of the Internet of Things, data centers must constantly adapt. To keep pace, companies are moving from monolithic data center designs to distributed, disaggregated architectures.

[More to come ...]

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