The embrace of cloud computing by organisations underscores the reasons for being of data centres today and those of yesteryear.
Data centres today must account for cloud workloads that aren’t physically or logically attached to a company’s network, which can introduce control, visibility and security concerns.
Gone are the days when information technology managers dealt with local assets exclusively as part of a company-owned data centre that was connected to a local network. In some ways, it was a more straightforward but arguably less useful arrangement than the modern data centre.
It was arguably simpler because physical hardware and software stacks were constructed according to the design specifications of the enterprise and its security as well as compliance needs.
According to a 2016 report from consultancy Gartner Group: “Historically, data centre strategies focused on keeping applications running, providing sustained and controlled growth, and doing it in a secure and fault-resilient manner.”
However, the data centre of yesteryear may not have been an enabler of strategic advantage. Now, companies can use them to provision services from a variety of locations and become a more agile business arguably.
There are disadvantages to this architectural shift as well such as the fact disparate workloads necessitate the ability to tie systems together to regain visibility and control which is inherently more difficult.
It’s relatively early days for cloud computing. However, it’s safe to say cloud services don’t portend the demise of enterprise data centres. Instead, we can expect the location of workloads to vary based on the demands of the business.
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