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Data Center Refresh: Optimize Your Operations to Leverage New Trends

2022 was a challenging year for many in the data center industry, and some experts are calling for more economic uncertainty this year, which makes a data center refresh important so you can optimize operations to leverage new trends.

“Cloud, data center, and edge infrastructure will be impacted by economic and geopolitical forces. Infrastructure and operations teams are likely to confront tightening budgets, supply chain disruptions, and shortages of skilled staff,” writes Gartner research vice president Paul Delory in TechRepublic. “2023 marks a moment to refocus, retool and rethink your infrastructure. Within a crisis, there is opportunity — in this case, the chance to make positive changes that may be long overdue.”

In Digital-First World: Move Ahead or Risk Falling Behind

In an increasingly digital-first world, staying put with infrastructure and technology can be tantamount to falling behind.

A data center refresh can make sure your operations keep pace with your industry and competition while meeting the needs of your company and customers.

“Data center technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace and keeping up is one of the greatest challenges IT faces,” says Intel in its “Data Center Optimization Planning Guide.”

Some, such as Data Center Knowledge, look forward to the changes that can be made in 2023.

“While 2022 proved to be a challenging year for the data center industry, 2023 is poised to bring exciting changes to the sector,” wrote Rina Diane Caballar for Data Center Knowledge.

Data Center Refresh Leads to New Capabilities

A data center refresh allows organizations to better manage operations and take advantage of new features which can lead to:

  • Greater control of IT operations
  • Increased reliability
  • Improved performance

“An infrastructure refresh in the data center can deliver the capabilities organizations need to do more with less,” according to a PC World magazine article.

Among the new capabilities that organizations can take advantage of with a data center refresh in 2023 include:

  • Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) to Grow: Dell’Oro Group says that the SASE market will hit $8 billion in 2023 as network security remains a priority. Gartner also identified SASE – a single-vendor product that is sold as an integrative service that enables digital transformation and connects and secures users, devices, and locations as they work to access applications from anywhere -- as a top trend, predicting a $9 billion market.

“Hybrid work and the relentless shift to cloud computing has accelerated SASE adoption,” said Gartner research vice president Jeffrey Hewitt. “SASE allows users to connect to applications in a secure fashion and improves the efficiency of management. I&O teams implementing SASE should prioritize single-vendor solutions and an integrated approach.”

“While virtual machine technology boosted the productivity of the traditional data center, cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes and containers and various iterations of serverless technologies now span the public cloud and data center alike. The benefit: better utilization of IT resources and faster application development and deployment at scale. Add 5G and emerging edge technologies into the mix, and there is plenty of incentive for enterprise-class organizations to move forward with tech modernization based on cloud-native infrastructure,” wrote Forrester principal analyst Lee Sustar.

“The expansion of social networking, cloud computing, mobile computing, and analytics is anticipated to have a positive effect on the need for data center automation. In addition, the fast adoption of cloud computing, big data, gaming, and other social networks is generating a massive quantity of data that necessitates the automation of business processes,” says the report.

  • Semiconductor Industry to Invest in Chip Manufacturing: The semiconductor industry is investing heavily to manufacture new chips with over $500 billion expected to be spent in building new factories by 2024.

New Application Architectures Require New Kinds of Infrastructure

For IT Department managers, optimizing operations means getting more out of every resource when it comes to computers, storage, and network.

A successful data center refresh will provide immediate advantages while also planning for future growth.

A data center refresh also allows companies to embrace innovation and add new application architectures which demand new kinds of infrastructure.

“New types of workloads will require new types of infrastructure,” wrote Delory. “For example, because of the sheer amount of data now being generated outside the data center, I&O teams are turning to edge infrastructure, out of necessity. Edge-based streaming analytics platforms can ingest and transform data in situ before transmitting the results to the cloud or central data centers for processing. This allows organizations to use cloud-based artificial intelligence and machine learning services without incurring exorbitant fees for cloud data storage or bandwidth. Edge infrastructure is quickly becoming non-optional for data-intensive use cases.”

Also, “serverless edge” or “CDN developer edge” architecture makes it possible to host new applications entirely at the edge.

“I&O teams can now use edge infrastructure to satisfy data sovereignty requirements, to effect complex staged software deployments, or to host a static website as close as possible to end users. In some cases, cloud IaaS may no longer be needed, since the CDN becomes your infrastructure,” concluded Delory.

Replacing Aging Infrastructure with a Data Center Refresh

Another advantage of a data center refresh is the ability to replace aging infrastructure which typically is at greater security risk and more costly to maintain than newer systems.

Intel says in its planning guide, “aging equipment simply can’t perform the way it needs to. The risk of obsolescence trumps all.”

By replacing aging infrastructure, your organization can:

  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Lower operating costs
  • Better performance
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Advanced security measures

To gain true efficiency, your data center refresh should be a combination of adding the latest hardware, software, virtualization, and connectivity solutions.

Contact DCS today to see how our connectivity solutions can reduce the stress of your next data center refresh through short lead times, quality products, and professional services.