2017 set to be the year of the data centre

Veeam Pty Ltd

By Nathan Steiner, Head of Systems Engineering ANZ at Veeam Software
Thursday, 16 March, 2017

2017 set to be the year of the data centre

As we start the new year, it’s clear that 2016 was a watershed in highlighting the importance of availability around the globe, but it is only gaining momentum as customers and partners demand availability. Over the last 12 months, massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks brought many government services to their knees, while also interrupting business operations and harming reputations for some of the world’s biggest organisations.

There’s little doubt that 2017 will be the year data centres will take the main stage and come to dominate IT as government departments and businesses alike look to harness information to provide tailored services to their diverse stakeholder groups. Availability will be a requirement and not merely a ‘nice to have’ for any department looking to succeed and meet customer demand in the coming year. No longer will stakeholders tolerate downtime; the time has come for every organisation to be available 24/7.

Through the next year, Veeam will continue to help IT teams deliver on the public’s expectation to have access to accurate information and critical services on-demand. There has never been more focus on digital delivery of services for government and the seamless delivery of services. Veeam has been solely focused on availability since its inception and is now well positioned to address the four key trends modern organisations and departments face today:

  • Blurring lines between public, private and hybrid clouds: A few years ago, the thought of extending data-centre infrastructure to a hyper-public cloud may have seemed a futile endeavour of connectivity, security and a mix of unknown surprises. However, now the market is ready to accept the adoption of hybrid cloud architectures from both the infrastructure and application side. It’s already happening and much greater mainstream adoption is on the horizon as agencies look to enhance operational agility and reliability, while ensuring that data and applications are available at any time, from anywhere.
  • The explosion of the software-defined infrastructure: It’s no secret that the software-defined data centre has been a huge trend in recent years — thanks in part to the popularity of virtualisation. Running applications in a virtualised environment brings many advantages for companies to help build efficiencies, provide reliability and a flexible IT infrastructure to ease management and free time and resources. Through 2017, expect to see more demands on vendors to provide software and services to meet the expectations of the next generation of innovators.
  • Stay one step ahead of hackers: Threats from hacking, as well as the proliferation of botnets, and malware (specifically ransomware) will keep IT managers up at night throughout 2017. We’ve seen enormous burdens placed on organisations looking to maintain availability during 2016, with large attacks on DNS services causing major services to be unreachable during critical times. As more government departments look to provide digital services, the hackers will be nipping at their heels. More than ever before, organisations will need to place additional emphasis on end-to-end data security, backup and recovery to ensure their services remain reliable.
  • More data, more possibilities: The data centre of today, and definitely of tomorrow, will increasingly hold more data — both historical and mission-critical. Whether it be an influx of inputs from the Internet of Things, more complex systems or growing amounts of existing data sets, the conclusion is obvious: the data deluge will continue. On the positive side, this will bring benefits to departments looking to leverage advanced analytics to hone their existing operations and provide new services to customers. As the calendar ticks over to 2017, organisations will be able to gain more insight from the data they have collected; helping shape decisions and inform strategy. However, these analytic capabilities will only bear fruit if data is both available and robust. For those relying on advanced analytics to drive operations, any downtime not only halts the ability to transact with customers and suppliers, but also stymies informed decision-making. IT departments will need to direct their attention to maintaining availability of mission-critical systems that underpin their analytics.

Specific predictions are always challenging, but the technology landscape today provides endless possibilities for organisations to provide great services based on the data centre and the information a data centre both houses and delivers. The expectation is that data is available whenever and wherever it is required. Gone are the days where downtime is considered a ‘normal’ part of day-to-day operations.

In 2017, the data centre will take centrestage and will serve as a critical piece of infrastructure to both store information and provide services to customers, employees and partners alike. Having a plan to ensure availability will be vital to maintaining operations to meet — and exceed — expectations. Success will depend on it.

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