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The Way Business Is Moving

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Issue Date: April 2007

Eight critical forces to shape the data centre

1 April 2007

Gartner has released a report everyone involved with the data centre should take note of and prepare for.
Through 2017, Gartner says infrastructure and operations managers, architects and infrastructure planners must consider eight critical forces when developing enterprise data centre strategies. By analysing the potential impact of these forces, IT organisations will be better positioned to introduce technologies and to improve the quality of service delivery.
Key findings
* Data centre power and cooling problems will increase during the next five to 10 years.

* Organisations must focus attention on developing and testing disaster recovery and business continuity plans more thoroughly.

* Optimising key operational processes will be essential to complement new technologies, such as virtualisation and dynamic workload management.
Recommendations
* To plan appropriately for change, users must model the major forces affecting their large data centres through at least the next five years.

* Many large users will face a significant constraint in the amount of available floor space needed to house the ever-increasing volume of new hardware. Users must consider all options, from using host providers to building new data centres.
The eight critical forces:
1. Processor/system design/power
* The growing issue of dense hardware power and cooling.
* The use of utility and grid architectures.
* The speed of embracing new technologies.
2. Architectural topology and realtime infrastructure
* The need to manage a heterogeneous hardware environment.
* The growth of x86 platforms.
* The move toward multicore systems.
* The use of chip-based virtualisation techniques.
3. Operational processes and tools
* Maturity of core operational service delivery processes.
* The use of monitoring and measuring tools.
* The move toward realtime infrastructure.
4. Disaster recovery and business continuity
* Applying risk mitigation and compliance procedures to core technologies.
* Dealing with social threats that disrupt technology use.
5. Capacity growth
* Growth of server and storage hardware.
* Growth of new data centres.
* Short-term use of hosting providers.
6. Operating system and application changes
* Effects of the growth of new, application development projects.
* Changes in operating system topology - growth of Linux.
* Effects of business process optimisation on application development.
7. Consolidation and rationalization
* Improving asset use.
* Managing physical data centre consolidation projects.
* Moving consolidation from project to process.
8. Facilities modification
* Introduction of water-cooled systems.
* Environmental and energy designs for new hardware and data centres.
* Managing spiralling energy costs.
Source: Eight Critical Forces Shape Enterprise Data Center Strategies, Rakesh Kumar, Gartner (February 2007).


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