Read a great opinion piece last week in the Wall Street Journal that talks about how we “stand on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century.” If you haven’t read Mark Mills and Julio Ottino: The Coming Tech-led Boom – WSJ.com it compares the potential impact of the rise of big data, smart manufacturing and wireless connectivity to the rise of twentieth century innovations from electricity to the radio:
“In hindsight it seems obvious that emerging technologies circa 1912—electrification, telephony, the dawn of the automobile age, the invention of stainless steel and the radio amplifier—would foster such growth. Yet even knowledgeable contemporary observers failed to grasp their transformational power.” – Mills and Ottino
Combine this with Carr’s The Big Switch -which is essentially about the evolution of electrification into today’s IT and beyond- and you get a sense of new dynamics for enterprise growth and profitability, again well summarized by Mills and Ottino:
“From social media to medical revolutions anchored in metadata analyses, wherein astronomical feats of data crunching enable heretofore unimaginable services and businesses, we are on the cusp of unimaginable new markets.”
I think one could make the case that smart manufacturing and wireless are both closely tied to big data and that data centers are becoming both factory and storefront in the Big Data era. The data center becomes to the 21st century what the steel mill and the automobile engine was to the 20th century.
This takes me back to a blog from 2008: Who Will Ride the Clouds? « ARCHIMEDIUS
Barriers to embracing the Big Data opportunity range from orchestration (the ability to manage connectivity and motion as IT workloads are moved and optimized in real-time) as virtual workloads replace dedicated servers; to the increasingly strategic necessity of addressing emerging power and cooling demands as older data centers are consolidated into more advanced and specialized facilities designed to scale at new levels of energy efficiency.
Companies like Nicira, Arista Networks and (my alma mater) Infoblox are all worth watching for their role in orchestration at new levels of scale. We at Vantage Data Centers have been focused on how to build more scalable and efficient data centers.