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Rethinking the concept of physical space in the data center

By Max Burkhalter
February 25, 2015

Demand for greater storage capacity doesn't seem to be slowing any time soon, and data center operators have acknowledged that simply expanding the size of their facilities is not a sustainable long-term solution. Thankfully, greater advancements in cloud technology and virtualization have made it easier to pack more data center in a smaller physical space, allowing storage providers to get the most memory for their dollar.

One organization that has led the charge on this front is the U.S. Federal Government, said FedTech Magazine. In fact, public sector facilities have already virtualized over 60 percent of their servers in the past few years, eliminating 12 domestic data centers in the process. However, both hardware manufacturers and IT staff must reconceptualize how physical space is going to be used in the data center in order for this movement to catch on across the private sector.

Storage needs a new beat
One area of the industry that is bound to see some changes with new ideas about physical space in the data center is storage. Data Center Knowledge pointed out that many manufacturers are designing their storage products with cloud connectivity built-in. The industry is likely to trend toward more agnostic storage designs, allowing one device to reach multiple clouds, as means of helping physical storage stay relevant as a complement to the cloud.

Security will see a shift in priorities
As storage gets smarter and more services are virtualized, IT teams will have to rethink security as well. Digital attacks are becoming more advanced and hackers are becoming bolder as more and more secure data holds plenty of financial value. At the same time, physical security can not be taken for granted. Thankfully, the consolidation of the data center will often make it easier for security staff to monitor a few critical pieces of equipment.

IT must think ahead when making hardware upgrades
Space, scale and flexibility are important considerations in the quickly evolving world of data center design - failure to match-up your purchases with industry trends can lead to your company painting itself into an expensive technological corner. If your facility needs replacement hardware in order to improve the performance of your data center, make sure the technology will still be useable over the next five years. Investing in data center equipment that's not ready for IPv6, for instance, is an easy way to shoot yourself in the foot when it comes to building your facility's infrastructure.

Perle's serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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