Posted by: Greg Ness | March 15, 2012

Hybrid Cloud Emigration Will Drive Wholesale Data Center Adoption

The IT thought leaders of tomorrow are today building hybrid clouds spanning extremely efficient, vertically scalable data centers with powerful and increasingly software-centric infrastructure.  They’re building private clouds as their base and then renting public clouds for the spike.  Today they are experiencing the challenges that will be rippling through Fortune 500 companies during the next 5 years as enterprises become more IT-centric and data centers replace ever more factories and file cabinets.

The cloud leaders of today are leading the development of advanced electrical and mechanical infrastructures and cooling systems that deliver strategic operating advantage in the form of higher availability and significantly reduced operating (power) expenses while they rent the spike from the public players.  Once they cross 500 kW of power, the alignment of electrical, mechanical design with infrastructure becomes a material issue.  At 1 MW it’s a strategic issue.

So we’re seeing public cloud-enabled players migrate into private clouds as they cross the 500 kW threshold and lay out plans for exceeding 1MW.  As the public cloud players reduce prices I cannot help but to wonder if hybrid cloud emigration was a factor in their decision.

The business case for vanilla data centers (containerized or modular one design fits all architecture for all operating models) starts to break down, especially for highly custom infrastructures in high growth environments.  So we’ll see the development of data center campuses with varied electrical and mechanical architectures and power densities, allowing for scale and customization, supported with dedicated substations (substation power pricing, 2N high voltages from substation to the server floor) and a host of new innovations.

Note: Contrast this vision of a dynamic mesh of electrons pulsating between customers, vendors and partners today in the Internet sector with this recent “chilling” report from Computerworld on IT at the White House.

Also: I’m assembling a panel for the upcoming Future in Review conference on what every CIO should know about cloud.  We’re lining up some of the best minds on cloud from companies like Boeing, VMware and PayPal to talk about when and where cloud can deliver strategic advantage over legacy IT (including floppy drives-LOL).


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