Data Center Trends in 2018

With a strong economic outlook and a growing call from the C-suite to finally “figure out digital,” 2018 has become a decisive year for many IT organizations.

With that in mind, we asked two of our resident technologists what data center trends they’re seeing so far in 2018 and what they expect to see before year end. Five takeaways are highlighted below.    

1. The cloud is finally being seen as a journey, not a destination. 

“Cloud is a journey, not a destination,” says Denali Chief Technologist Nate Beck. “People buy an app or a piece of software and it lands in their data center, and they think they’re done—because typically, with on-prem data centers, that’s how it was done. But in a cloud environment, it’s not that way at all. Cloud is very fluid." Beck expects more enterprise IT leaders to see the cloud not as a goal in itself but as a state of IT in which fluidity is the new norm.

2. All-Flash storage will continue its ascent.

Storage consolidation using all-Flash arrays, such as Dell EMC’s VMAX, is becoming an ideal option for IT teams looking to streamline footprint while boosting performance for critical workloads, especially as all-Flash arrays cost continues to fall. “The pricing is very attractive, even compared to some of the other Dell EMC all-Flash arrays, and the stuff just runs. It’s almost bullet-proof,” says Beck.

Adoption of VMAX and similar all-Flash storage platforms will also likely be bolstered by the growing need for infrastructure with minimal management requirements.

“Most of those are API-driven arrays, so they manage it using a ticket-based solution that does all the back-end orchestration for them.”

3. More enterprises will seek cloud-like on-prem data centers.

Clayton Daffron, director of solutions architecture, believes the on-prem data center will have all the capabilities of a public cloud. In fact, advances in public cloud technologies have driven innovation in on-prem servers—making the private data center more flexible, efficient, and scalable than ever.

“You’re going to hear from infrastructure manufacturers that now there are on-prem technology solutions that give you the same capabilities as an Azure or an AWS,” he says, “and to some extent, that’s true.”

4. Hyper-converged use cases will continue to expand.

IDC and other industry watchers have noted the rapid growth in hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) adoption over 2017. This year will likely see that trend accelerate as enterprises expand HCI beyond isolated use cases like branch office and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to anywhere they want scalability and ease of management. “If customers get to a place where they need more [capacity], they buy another node, plug in a couple of cables, turn it on, and it auto-configures itself,” says Beck.

5. Cloud backup is a no-brainer.

Beck thinks more businesses will be looking for ways to simplify and streamline infrastructure, and if they have not already seen the value in moving data backup and recovery to the cloud, they will.

“Backups aren’t sexy,” he says. “Nobody cares about them—they only care about the restore.” All the more reason to shift to a reliable cloud service so the internal team can focus on bigger things.

2018 will continue to the year of increased demand for digital transformation in the enterprise. What does that mean for your data storage infrastructure? Download our new white paper What Digital Transformation Means for Enterprise Data Storage to learn about the key considerations for IT leaders.

Ahmad Daher

Ahmad Daher is a data-driven marketer with a background in digital marketing, demand generation and executing innovative marketing programs.

Prior to joining Denali, he was a key contributor to the marketing organizations at Microsoft, GE and most recently as the Director of Marketing at Caradigm (a GE Healthcare Company).

Ahmad also provides strategic insights to help shape global marketing initiatives as a member of the Dell EMC Global Partner Marketing Council and LinkedIn Marketing Advisory Board.

Ahmad is a member of the Providence O’Christmas Trees Board which supports Providence Senior and Community Services by raising millions of dollars annually. He also supports EvergreenHealth Foundation in their annual Evergreen Gala and Seattle Children’s Hospital as a member of their corporate leadership council and the Denali Dash.

Ahmad holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature and Communications from the University of Washington.

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