Data Center Trends: Looking Back on 2016


If you have kept up with the latest news, studies, and rumors about data centers, you likely feel a little lost based on the stories that came out over the past year. Some ‘experts’ predicted that 2016 would see ‘the end of the corporate data center’ because everyone would be moving toward cloud based data centers. Others talked about how smaller data centers for individual businesses would be the hottest trend for the year.

Not surprisingly, 2016 for data centers landed somewhere in the middle. Many small to mid-sized companies, and even some large corporations, moved a large percentage of their computer and networking equipment to cloud services. The move, however, wasn’t as drastic as one might have expected. Given the fact that all the technology is in place to have the computer equipment of entire companies moved to the cloud, it seemed likely that many businesses would get out of the IT game and let cloud services handle it for them.

Combining Local & Cloud Services

What we did see through 2016, and continuing into 2017, is that companies seem to be embracing a hybrid strategy when it comes to their data centers. Having their own, smaller, data centers available so they can have hands on control of hardware is attractive to many companies. Moving the actual data storage and retrieval to the cloud, however, provides some very obvious benefits of redundancy, cost savings, and more.

As time goes by and more companies are making decisions on whether they want to upgrade the hardware in their own data center, or dismantle it and have things on the cloud, it seems like we’re going to see a mixed bag.  Local data centers, however, are likely going to shrink quite significantly since the hardware operating in them continues to get smaller and require less power. Blade servers, for example, take up a fraction of the space of a traditional server, yet have all the processing power.

Massive Enterprise Data Centers Driving Costs Down for 2017

When looking forward to 2017, it is very important to take note of the fact that data center companies are expanding or building new data centers to support their cloud services. These modern data centers have millions of square feet of raised floor, and endless rows racks to house different types of hardware. While these data centers cost a lot to build, the price per square foot is far lower than building multiple smaller facilities.

As some of these went up in 2016, we saw major companies like Netflix moving to cloud based computers to store and serve their digital content to customers around the globe. There weren’t any significant service interruptions caused by this type of centralized cloud computing, and the costs are far lower than would be possible using any other type of solution.

Smaller companies will likely follow the lead of companies like Netflix and move some of their critical services to major cloud facilities due to the increased reliability and reduced costs. Keeping just a small data center, or even a ‘computer closet’ with one or two racks for the routers and switches needed may very well become quite popular over the course of 2017.

Data Center Trends: Looking Back on 2016 and into 2017 | RackSolutions
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Data Center Trends: Looking Back on 2016 and into 2017 | RackSolutions
Some ‘experts’ predicted that 2016 would see the end of the corporate data center because everyone would be moving toward cloud based data centers.
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Data Center Trends: Looking Back on 2016