The Changing Shape of the Cloud

Angie McMillin • January 31, 2020

The introduction of cloud computing fundamentally changed the data center industry in innumerable ways. Like colocation a few years earlier, the cloud offered an offramp for organizations that needed IT resources but didn’t want to be in the data center business. Many of them raced to take it. Cloud became the fastest growing segment in the data center industry, erupting from its nascent form to a $227.8 billion global market in a decade’s time.

That stampede to the cloud had obvious implications for enterprise data centers. The number of enterprise facilities declined, sure, but as we head into the next decade, a new equilibrium is emerging. The cloud market is showing signs of stabilizing, and today’s enterprise data centers are adapting to a new world order that includes not just the cloud, but a rapidly expanding edge of the network. The new model isn’t cloud or enterprise or edge; it’s a hybrid of all three – public and/or private cloud resources and edge deployments integrated with a new-look enterprise facility at the core. This is one of several 2020 data center trends to watch as identified by a global panel of Vertiv experts.

Today’s enterprise data centers are becoming smaller and more efficient. Because they house the sensitive data organizations refuse to trust to the cloud, these enterprise facilities typically are more mission critical than ever. These are leaner data centers, optimized for their role as the hub of these new, hybrid networks.

The implications extend far beyond the binary choice of enterprise or cloud. Managing data across such a diverse, distributed network requires visibility across systems and applications and new thinking about everything from IT and infrastructure management to physical and cybersecurity. Going forward, more organizations will start to tailor their IT mix and spending to the needs of their applications, with networks evolving and adapting to changes in those applications.

Is your organization utilizing hybrid architectures and, if so, what advice would you offer to others considering similar strategies?

  

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