Forecast: Corporate data center will remain 'IT powerhouse' in 2013

Ovum expects the sustainable data center market to see accelerated growth in 2013, as the market becomes more focused on cost-savings and provides more efficient internal IT delivery methods.

The global technology analyst firm Ovum expects the sustainable data center market to see accelerated growth in 2013, as the market becomes more focused on cost-savings, and provides more efficient internal IT delivery methods. Such methods may include virtualization, software-defined networks (SDNs), and the use of converged infrastructure solutions (i.e. the so-called "cloud-in-a-box"), says the firm.

In its latest research, Ovum ultimately predicts that in 2013, organizations looking to get the best value from their investments will be more driven by the desire to reduce costs and improve sustainability. “Due to the rise of the data center infrastructure management (DCIM) market, the role of chief sustainability office (CSO) will become more commonplace in organizations [concerned with] IT financial management, closely linked to the cost and availability of energy," comments Ovum principal analyst Roy Illsley, author of the firm's new report, 2013 Trends to Watch: Data Center Technology.

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Although a small market, DCIM will become more widely used in 2013, says the study, as its initial deployments will be based on costs linked to energy and change. Illsley adds, “As organizations look more into cost-saving, energy represents a huge percentage of the cost base.”

Development and operations (DevOps) will also be major part of sustainable IT in 2013, says Ovum. Broadly speaking, the firm contends that the DevOps movement needs organizations to adopt strong governance capabilities that mandate the adoption of agile processes that benefit business, to ensure that best practices are followed across the development lifecycle.

According to the report, other data center trends to watch for in 2013 will include the complete virtualization of all layers in the data center, from the database, to storage, to the user -- which will also drive the need for greater automation technologies and the associated orchestration layer. For enterprises, the trend will focus more on sustainable IT, and in particular DCIM and DevOPs.

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement will also become more of a reality between 2013/2014, notes the research, and the mobile policies for corporate use and the growth of smartphones will be combined to provide a path for increased adoption by employees. For vendors, the report says that 2013 will see wider adoption of automation technologies, because CIOs will have to deliver the same or more services at reduced cost.

Finally, while the hype surrounding cloud computing can lead some organizations to predict the end of the internal data center, Ovum considers that it is too early to make such bold statements. For many organizations, the question of workload classification remains a difficult issue, says the study, and the default position is to keep it on-premises. But even if the workloads are fully understood in terms of risk, the report contends that cost, and value, the ability to move them is the Achilles heel of current technologies.

“This scenario is highly unlikely to change unless workloads between cloud technologies become truly portable in 2013 or security and privacy concerns evaporate,” concludes Ovum analyst Illsey.

Learn more about Ovum's 2013 data center trends report.

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