Are data centers going away? That’s what many are wondering as cloud computing continues to creep into the enterprise.
The answer? Yes and no. To support a move to the cloud, the demand for large data centers is on the rise. After all, the hardware housing this data has to be housed somewhere. But enterprise data centers are beginning to come into question, as companies that currently manage their own data center space begin to contemplate whether they can do it as effectively as a third party (like a cloud service provider).
Some enterprises may be wondering: Is it wise to put our organization’s resources toward running our own data center(s)?
Talk of moving to the cloud has been happening for years, but that talk is turning into action. Mass media company Condé Nast doesn’t have its own data center anymore; it moves all of its systems to Amazon Web Services in 2014. Land O’ Lakes is migrating more than 2,000 servers to the cloud. GE has vowed to move everything to the cloud, and is well on its way.
The Uptime Institute just released a survey indicating that half of senior enterprise IT executives expect the majority of IT workloads to reside in cloud or colocation sites in the future – and as soon as by 2020. A survey from Mimecast supports the notion that, once companies move to the cloud, they don’t go back. In this survey, 70% of IT decision-makers who are already using the cloud say they plan to move additional solutions to the cloud within the year.
Here are some of the reasons we’ve seen enterprises decide to give up their own data center space and begin planning a move to the cloud …
What happens if your organization’s bandwidth needs change? If the number of users changes? When your applications move to the cloud, scaling up capacity is easy (and fast) – and handled by a third party. You can quickly make changes in response to business needs, new technology, changing market conditions or productivity issues.
In-house software and security updates can take hours – and that’s when the process goes smoothly. In the cloud, service providers are in charge of updates; that’s one less thing you have to manage and roll out. They will track when updates need to be made – and the best time to make them. Your systems will always be up to date this way.
In an owned data center, it’s likely that a bulk of your IT budget goes toward hardware purchases (about 37%, according to a ZDNet report on a survey from Computer Economics). When you move to the cloud, your service provider allows you to follow a pay-as-you-go model based on your needs and the number of users. You no longer have to run your own servers, or worry about the costs associated with maintaining and upgrading them. Nothing in the data center belongs to your organization; it becomes someone else’s responsibility.
The line item in your budget for IT staff? It can go down with a move to the cloud. You may not need the same number of staff dedicated to IT as you did before; oftentimes, enterprises that move to the cloud are able to use their existing IT staff to focus on other areas of the business that still require a technical/IT background.
When critical IT systems go down, bad things happen. In enterprise data centers, staff members are scrambling to recover data and restore systems – no matter what time of day it is. Moving to the cloud can ensure data back-up, fail-over of servers and secondary data centers in case of regional disasters.
When you don’t have to keep IT systems and equipment onsite, you can use your existing real estate for other purposes – whether it’s storage, room for more staff or even space for a new revenue-generating idea.
Pondering a move to the cloud? Belden can help assess your needs and requirements, walk you through the pros and cons of moving to the cloud, choose a platform that will support your enterprise. Contact us today!
Is any part of your enterprise currently using the cloud? What are your plans for the future?
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With 24 years of telecommunications and data center industry experience, Warren McCarty is a Lucent Technologies/Bell Laboratories training graduate and BICSI RCDD who is responsible for supervising Belden’s direct sales, partner management and marketing activity implementation for data centers.