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Data Center of the Future Poised to Address Key Challenges

  • April 19 2006, 1:00am EDT

The U.S. data center is in the midst of a significant shift as evolving business models and an ever-increasing competitive landscape require improved flexibility within the IT infrastructure. According to new research from IDC, as U.S. enterprises accelerate initiatives around growing their business, many data centers are laying out a new vision for their technology infrastructure in order to meet the challenges ahead.

The future is now as IT organizations begin condensing their data center infrastructure and deliver new and innovative IT services while increasing service levels and maintaining or even lowering IT budgets and staffing levels.

Key findings include:

  • Unlike the massive cost-cutting initiatives of the first part of this decade, U.S. businesses are again focused on growth.
  • Business initiatives that involve bringing new products to market and expanding into new customer segments are increasingly dependent on technology, making time to market an imperative for many IT organizations.
  • New applications are increasingly becoming dependent on access to data in real or near-real time, thereby driving the need for higher levels of processing.
  • Tomorrow's data center will be denser, hotter, more consolidated, highly utilized, better designed, fully redundant and very dynamic. Automation will be the key to containing costs as the need for processing continues to increase.
  • Regulatory issues remain a major concern for large U.S. organizations, further driving requirements for availability and disaster recovery.
  • As data centers technologies shift and as IT becomes more tightly linked with the business, skill sets in the data center will also evolve. IDC believes that automation will moderate the number of systems administrators required, while business analysts will play an increasingly important role.
  • The number of Enterprise Class U.S. data centers will approach 7,000 by 2009 as companies continue to consolidate their IT infrastructure away from smaller, more distributed IT centers.

This IDC special study, Data Center of the Future is an examination of infrastructure technology changes that customers foresee impacting the physical and operational characteristics of the future data center. It provides an overview of the most challenging business issues that U.S. companies face and lays out how business requirements are expected to change the deployment of server, storage, network and systems management technologies.

To better understand the impact that changes in business and technology will have on the future data center, IDC spoke with leading IT buyers and technology vendors. While IT vendors have the distinct advantage of being privy to new and yet undisclosed technology advances, ultimately IT buyers will determine the usefulness new technologies in relation to their business needs which in turn will dictate buying behavior.

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