Veeam examines the growth of the data centre...

Charles Clarke, Veeam APAC technical director, takes a look at how the rise of big data, virtualisation and automation are transforming the New Zealand data centre market.

The growth of the data centre market in New Zealand is a trend with no sign of slowing.

According to a recent IDC report, over half of organisations across Australia and New Zealand are either looking for a new data centre provider or plan to invest in maintaining existing data centre infrastructure.

This increasing investment has been driven largely by the rise of the three key trends.

Big data

Big data can be defined as structured or unstructured data that cannot be managed by ordinary means such as traditional databases and file systems. The sheer size of big data creates a management challenge.

Data centre providers and organisations offering services within the data centre are rising to meet that challenge by providing management services, analytics and difficult-to-find skills.

In addition to causing a ‘data management’ headache, the large quantities of data inevitably mean an increased risk to the organisation in the event of data loss.

According to a Ponemon Institute study last year, the cost per lost or stolen record in Australia had increased for the fourth year in a row.

In 2011, the cost was $138 and this increased to $141 in 2012. We expect the statistics to be similar in New Zealand.

To prevent data loss from happening, or at least minimise the impact when it occurs, the key is to devise data recovery scenarios.

This is where channel partners can help, assisting organisations to identify data that needs to be protected and what doesn’t need to be protected, as well as providing the right tools for data protection for the modern data centre.

Virtualisation

The rise of the data centre is made possible by virtualisation. Virtualisation creates economies of scale through the existence of consolidated workloads.

In the data centre this is magnified by being able to share other elements of infrastructure, such as power and cooling.

Server virtualisation is now mainstream in New Zealand, with more than 80% of server operating systems running as virtualised machines, according to Gartner.

Virtualisation is essentially the on-ramp to the cloud; the key difference between the two terms lies in billing models and the ability to host multiple tenants on shared infrastructure.

For resellers working in the DC or hosting space, it is recommended they identify simple billing models customers can understand and clearly identify the services and service levels that will be provided.

As virtualisation underpins the success of the data centre, including its economic viability, providers and tenants will find the most value by choosing tools built specifically for that virtual platform.

Automation

Behind the modern data centre lies a foundation of automation. The current craze for 'software defined’ data centres, networking and storage underlies a desire to manage increasingly sprawling IT infrastructures.

Automation plays a central role in all DC elements that can be defined in software, whether it is automated monitoring and remediation or data protection defined and automated in software rather than relying on an often inflexible hardware layer.

As the benefits of software defined networking and storage become more transparent over the coming two years, more and more vendors will embrace the paradigm shift and further accelerate the rush to an entire data centre defined and managed in software.

The modern DC with the right level of automation will enable complete control over the environment, high-speed recovery in the event of an outage and clear strategies for data loss avoidance.


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