MARKET | Mar 8, 2019

The Data Center that will come

IoT, AI and machine learning reverse the tendency towards consolidation in large structures in favor of smaller but more efficient centers

What will the data center of the future be like? This question is answered by research carried out by IDC Italia, which forecasts an increasingly agile, distributed and automated infrastructure, able to provide cloud experience and services to businesses where and when required.

According to IDC, already during 2019, 25 percent of businesses will abandon consolidation in large data centers in order to modernize smaller, but more strategically positioned data centers. In 2020, the need to be able to store and manage the growing volume of data generated in edge will lead 40% of companies to establish and use an intermediate layer of data vault, while in 2022, 50% of the IT assets of corporate data centers will be able to operate independently thanks to Artificial Intelligences. In the scenario envisaged by IDC, an intermediate layer will spread between core and edge, and human presence will be more limited, particularly in edge.

“The exponential growth of data produced by both IoE and open sources – comments Francesco Bonfiglio CEO of Engineering D.HUB -, together with the explosion of increasingly predictive and AI-based algorithms, will require investments in the storage, network and compute areas over the next three years which simply cannot be sustained by our customers except by creating a distributed network of data collection and processing points. Engineering D.HUB’s mission, defined from its inception, is in line with IDC’s vision of the future and envisages the need to combine an increasing computing and data storage capacity, security, integration with legacy (through RPA) and digital (through IoT) systems in a secure, agnostic manner in relation to technologies and to combine traditional skills in managing operations with drawing and processing skills”.


Data center transformation

The change is driven both by the growing corporate appetite for new applications, which require a substantial change in infrastructure management, and by the need to continue supporting and modernizing the legacy world.

“Data center management and operations are transformed by advances in Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and automation – states Sergio Patano, Associate Research Director of IDC Italia. – IoT ecosystems use sensors and produce large quantities of data which affect how companies make decisions: this leads to a far-reaching change in the way data centers operate. IT infrastructures, which host Artificial Intelligence capabilities through the automation of operations, will improve resiliency and optimize performance. The need for this level of autonomy increases even more as the IT service is required in peripheral areas, where it is possible to intervene with limited staff. The ability to replace human-driven decisions with data-driven decisions will be increasingly necessary in marginal positions and in an increasingly distributed and diversified IT environment”.

New trends

The transformation of data centers will reverse the tendency to consolidate in large structures in favor of an increased granularity not only in edge, but also at an intermediate level. The huge quantity of data generated from several fronts is creating large repositories of information which will mostly be housed in mega data center clouds, managed by IaaS and SaaS providers, or in smaller structures, better positioned both in terms of geography and of latency and service response. This will make the construction of large corporate data centers increasingly less important.

“D.HUB – continues Bonfiglio – connects its data centers with large global public cloud networks to meet integration and performance requirements, even before security ones, which the latter cannot guarantee alone. We are also investing in the creation of business service platforms on top of our technology platforms, to enable our customers to move from an IT model linked to the costs of technology to an IT model which produces revenue by enabling digital services. So, to the traditional portfolio of outsourcing services, D.HUB adds the Digital Enabler, an E2E platform to mash up IoT and multi-source data in order to create digital ecosystems, or solutions for Smart Agriculture like the one recently presented in Val D’Aosta, for digitizing an important local winery. The winning choice is increasingly given by the combination of proprietary data centers, with high levels of certification, secure, distributed throughout the territory, close to the data generated, based on a hybrid technology platform, i.e. open to any cloud technology, automatically supervised and monitored 24/7. Our offer meets the needs of the present and of the future. We offer our customers the advantage of having a single partner, able to flank them from the sole management of AsIs to the creation of value, thus enabling a new digital economy”.

The great flow of data expected over the next few years will need to be stored and made accessible for analysis, and none of this is likely to occur close to current corporate data centers, according to IDC. In order to manage this proliferation of data, therefore, many organizations will adopt a data vaulting strategy which will allow them to consolidate data in secure, intermediate sites without the need to build new facilities.