January 15, 2019

In 2019, what can IT professionals expect from the world of data centers, colocation, cloud and connectivity? Here are five predictions for the year.

1. Data Center Cooling Techniques Will Differentiate Providers

High-density chip designs and ever-increasing rack densities will require ongoing innovation in cooling technologies that only the data center industry can provide. By the time they are made public, many of what some consider “state-of-the-art” approaches are already outmoded and ineffective. According to Gartner, heat management techniques that were once highly touted—free cooling in particular—are waning in popularity and hype.

Rather than try to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation (and the capital investment that often goes along with it), enterprises increasingly will choose to rely on data center providers with deep experience and expertise in advanced cooling design capabilities to meet higher demand, including what is needed to stay ahead of the technology curve and minimize associated costs. Considering that approximately 40 percent of all energy used by the typical data center is for cooling, getting cooling costs down in these environments is critical.

2. Private Proximity Will Drive the Next Generation of Applications

Recently, enterprises have been adopting private network connectivity as their preferred method for consuming a broad range of cloud services. Examples of these kinds of connection options include virtual private networks (VPNs) and software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN).

In 2019, as organizations turn their attention to finding ways to reduce latency and improve network efficiencies as part of their goal of becoming a Zero-Latency Enterprise, “private proximity” to underlying data and core cloud resourcesnot just edge “on ramps”will become an increasingly important consideration.

A 2018 survey found that over a third of network managers prioritized software-defined data center and private cloud architectures last year. Expect this trend to continue in 2019 as well.

3. Multi-Cloud Migration Becomes More Prevalent in the Data Center

Moving large workloads among clouds or executing efficient multi-cloud strategies can be daunting. This is especially true at the two extremes of the organizational scale spectrum – with both large, geographically-distributed organizations and at smaller organizations lacking adequate IT resources and cloud expertise.

According to Gartner analysts Petr Gorodetskiy and Brandon Medford, “End-user organizations are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies.” Enterprises in 2019 will lean even more heavily on the experience of data center providers who lead in hybrid and multi-cloud provisioning to ensure operational and economic excellence.

4. Hybrid Cloud Comes of Age

Cloud users fall into two camps: those who launched their businesses in the cloud and those who have moved some of their on-premises resources to public clouds in the last few years. Yet, by 2020, over 80 percent of all enterprise workloads may be in the cloud.

Regardless of where their journey began, most organizations in 2019 will realize that not everything belongs in the cloud. Achieving a proper mix of on-premises and cloud-resident workloads and infrastructure are important to ensure optimal workplace performance and operational efficiency.

This helps to explain why the IT hardware market remains robust even as cloud computing continue to grow in popularity. By 2020, an estimated 22 percent of all enterprise workloads will be in hybrid cloud environments.

“Most organizations in 2019 will realize that not everything belongs in the cloud and that achieving a proper mix of on-premises and cloud-resident workloads and infrastructure will be the only way to ensure optimal workplace performance and operational efficiency,” says Rick Moore, Director of Global Cloud Services at Digital Realty.

5. The Edge Will Become Increasingly Central

Gartner has listed the Empowered Edge as one of its Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019 - and for good reason. As trends such as the Internet of Things and AR/VR helps to exacerbate already rising decentralized data demands, the network’s edge is picking up the slack. Between 2018 and 2022, the percentage of all data processed outside of a traditional centralized hub will go from 10 percent to 50 percent, according to Gartner.

“Organizations that have embarked on a digital business journey have realized that a more decentralized approach is required to address digital business infrastructure requirements,” says Santhosh Rao, principal research analyst at Gartner. “As the volume and velocity of data increases, so too does the inefficiency of streaming all this information to a cloud or data center for processing.”

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