Servers

Five Technology Trends That Make Running A Data Centre Harder

Operating a data centre isn’t easy even in a relatively static business environment, but modern technology trends make it more difficult than ever. Here are five to watch out for.

Data centre picture from Shutterstock

These ideas come from Spencer Izard, research director at IDC. He presented them at IDC’s Datacentre Summit in London last week, which I attended as a bonus sequel of sorts to the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit I was covering for our ongoing World Of Servers series.

Shadow IT happens faster Shadow IT — projects within individual departments that haven’t involved business IT — has always been a problem, but the shift to cloud has made it much more visible. “Shadow IT used to only happen if a manager with major political weight and large budget could disrupt what you were doing,” Izard said. “With the onset of cheap cloud services, it has changed that dynamic of how shadow IT happens.”

IT sprawl has become a software issue. Again, IT sprawl isn’t new. “IT sprawl will always be a problem, because that’s just the way technology is,” Izard said. The difference is were it happens: there has been a shift from hardware sprawl to virtualisation sprawl, and the latter is even harder to control.

We’re still too reliant on manual processes Failure to automate always causes problems. “Manual processes are not responsive enough,” Izard said. “When you do manual processes, often errors and lack of consistency are introduced.” It’s also a poor use of resources: “A lot of orgns are still using highly skilled people for very basic things.”

We have too many contracts In many data centre environments, there are multiple providers running on different kinds of contracts. This greatly complicates administration.

We’re too obsessed with trying to be unique. IT departments still often reject the idea of commodity services, Izard noted. “Commodity is not a bad thing; it’s a good thing. What you’re doing is often not unique there and you need to focus on the layers that are.”