PTS Consulting®

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How cloud computing will change the data centres marketplace

Barry Lewington, PTS Consulting (PTS) Principal Consultant, takes an objective look at what Cloud Computing really means and what it will mean for Data Centres as we know them.

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Cloud Computing is the next evolution of the Internet. The term Cloud is a generic term used to describe the delivery of IT as a Service via the Internet with the customer no longer having to own any IT assets. The service effectively allows an IT Service Provider to sell slices of its IT systems and assets to multiple customers in much the same way as we do for ‘Shared Holiday Homes’ with a single home being sliced up with weeks being bought by customers.   

Cloud effectively allows customers to buy IT services as a utility service in much the same way we buy Electricity, Gas and Water, you pay only for what you use. The term Cloud (a term created by Oracle leader Larry Ellison to describe services delivered across the Internet) is generic term used to describe many different types of services from Computing Power, Data Storage through to Software as a Service.   

The usage of Cloud is still in its infancy and the development of IT services in centralised Data Centres to deliver Cloud Services will only grow over the next decade as Cloud services mature and organisations become comfortable with the services and migrate their in‐house services to external Cloud suppliers. For the foreseeable future there will still be a need for some internal Computing for organisations as critical business solutions are kept internally, but over time common applications such as Email, HR and Accounting will be migrated to Cloud Service Providers.

Within the Data Centre marketplace, this will drive the ownership of Data Centres from being large “end user” Corporations to an increased number of Cloud Service Providers, and benefit from facilities that can offer high levels of efficiency whilst maintaining high levels of availability. Poor providers of Cloud services will easily lose business as Cloud services are easy to migrate from provider to provider.   

As the customer’s future IT services are effectively in the Cloud, the location for Data Centres becomes less important, so the market will start to see the growth of new facilities away from the more expensive large Central Business District conurbations being positioned in areas where access to power and networks are readily accessible. There is a common misconception that Cloud will close down Data Centres. In fact the drive for Cloud services is currently driving a clutch of new facilities looking to attack this new market. Over time, economies of scale will drive consolidation of Data Centres and drive a new model of large mega facilities with fewer Service Providers delivering services to a greater number of customers. Cloud will be the service that drives the closure of many inefficient and old in‐house facilities, as costs and the inability to maintain pace of change force businesses to migrate their services to the Cloud.   

Cloud services are new, are growing and the market is beginning to explore the next phase of IT computing that will drive a shift in the way consumers and corporations use IT for the future. 

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