The Death of the Data Center

There’s been a lot of play recently around the death of the data center. Gartner put out a report boldly titled, "Prepare for the Death of the Data Center". Though they did tack on a caveat: As We Know It.

 data center alternative | Binary Tree

Others are quick to point out that private data centers are still alive and kicking (Network World) and that reports of the data center’s death are greatly exaggerated (Forbes). They argue that there are still many use cases for data centers, including where to store all the big data we’re accumulating these days.

So the key point here is that we’re really looking at a huge shift away from the traditional data center, where enterprises run their applications and store data onsite. As of now, only around 10% of enterprises have shut down their traditional data centers in favor of the cloud or other non-traditional options. But Gartner predicts that in less than 10 years, 80% of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers.

If you can already see that your org is headed in that direction, here are a few things you can do to get ready.

Avoid investing in new data centers

It’s definitely a good idea to resist investing in new data centers, where you can. Now is a good time to shift your organization’s mindset to view them as the exception, rather than the first solution you reach for. That’s because new data centers usually take anywhere from 10-15 years to pay off. In this digital age, that’s practically an eternity. These days, it’s hard to predict what you’ll need in two years, much less 15.

Explore non-traditional data centers

Instead, Gartner suggests that you look at co-location options for your data center, which often come with a 3-year contract. This option brings several benefits:

  • Gives you quick capacity with flexible terms
  • Frees up power and cooling in your on-site data center
  • Lets you start migrating applications to the cloud
  • Can free up IT budget by moving from a capex purchase to an ongoing expense

Plan migrations carefully

That being said, migrating away from the traditional data center comes with some cons, too. It can take significant time and money to migrate applications to other places, whether that’s a co-located data center or the cloud. And migrations often cause downtime or can inadvertently break integrations with other applications. Gartner recommends that you work with a partner who’s an expert at these types of projects.

Get help to move to the cloud

To that end, Binary Tree is here to help. If you’d need an expert to migrate email and other applications to the Microsoft cloud (or even between data centers), we’ve got you covered. Our software and services are flexible enough to handle even the most complex enterprise migrations. To get started, get in touch.

 

Source: Gartner. Prepare for the Death of the Data Center As We Know It. May 2018.