A New Model for Data Management Takes Hold
Companies with major data centers appear to be melding comfortably with the cloud.
Nearly two years ago a report by the tech research firm Gartner predicted that nearly half of all large enterprise firms would rely on hybrid IT infrastructures by 2017.
It turns out that Gartner’s forecast may have underestimated the rate of adoption. A new report indicates that the hybrid model has arrived more quickly than expected.
Looking at the numbers
Forty-nine percent of those surveyed for a report by 451 Research say they now use their own infrastructure in tandem with cloud or colocation providers..
“The reality is that most enterprises still run a data center of some kind,” says Dan Harrington, research director at 451 Research.
The report was based on a survey of more than 1200 IT managers, so the new report does not appear to be restricted to “large enterprise” companies. But whether they are big or small a new model for data management has clearly emerged.
The report had a number of interesting metrics for data center trend watchers:
While 17% of respondents reported relying solely on cloud or colocation providers, 18% said they expected to build a data center of their own. The report anticipates that 50% of server racks in North America will be located at cloud and colocation sites by 2018, up from 40% currently.
Best of both worlds?
What’s behind the new paradigm? Every business has its own set of market realities. If a company’s data center has the capacity it needs and operates within budget, the case for integration is fairly weak. In this case, keeping operations in house makes perfect sense by generating a return on previous investment.
But according to the 451 Research report, once capacity becomes an issue, many enterprises with their own data centers are incorporating cloud solutions. Thirty-five percent said they would use colocation services once they reach capacity at their current operations.
Still, switching completely to cloud or colocation services is something some sectors are not comfortable with, and the report notes that big players in the financial service sectors and healthcare sectors will continue to invest heavily in their own hosted infrastructures.
This strategy raises an interesting question for every enterprise. Cloud companies are out to make a profit by maximizing scale. If a company’s IT needs are big enough–or small enough–wouldn’t it make sense to continue to host their own data centers?
Comments are closed