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2011 Data Center Trend Reviews
Posted on: February 23rd, 2012 by Bill

Sorry for not getting back to you all with the review of the 2011 predictions.  All in all, I think we hit it on the head on two items and missed on the third.

Cloud Computing

The greatest increase in data center, space and utilization was clearly in the cloud space last year.  When the 2011 prediction was made, the inference is that cloud, as a service or as a cornerstone to the technology plan for a business.  In review of where the money flowed last year, the kings of the hill were Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, Zynga, Linked In and other service systems.  In 2011, Siri, Apple Cloud, Facebook user growth, the Zynga and LinkedIn expansions simply offer irrefutable evidence that the big growth is in geographically independant, enterprise-level application delivery – the ALL/ANYWHERE/ANYTIME paradigm.  We also take this as a major and continuing shift to SaaS, IaaS and PaaS, depending on your needs.

Modular Data Centers

Don’t get me wrong, our modular business was very robust this last 12 months.  We have viewed the modularity of the data center speaks to the larger issue of outsourcing real estate solutions to the wholesale colocation providers.  This is related to scale, cost/SF or cost/kW and the generally efficiencies you see when you scale a business to, say 18M square feet of data center space.

Creativity from Manufacturers

Dead missed this one.  We expected breakthroughs on design or manufactured systems this year.  What we observed was the general failure of new designs when faced with a highly-efficient, capacitive IT load.  While not to count the high efficiency data center dead from an electrical standpoint, it certainly is handicapped by having to serve a heterogeneous IT equipment system.  Where Amazon, Facebook, Apple or Google (herein and now referred to in this blog as the CLOUD GIANTS) can vertically integrate their application, platform and facility solutions to come up with some very efficient models, not everyone can enjoy those savings unless they are willing to make a profound change in their hardware systems.  Everyone’s looking at this, but it may take a decade for our traditional enterprise-level users in the banking and manufacturing businesses to be able to churn out older hardware for newer systems current seen in the CLOUD GIANTS.

We also observed limited advancement in critical power and cooling systems outside of Facebook Open Compute.  While we applaud the use of new long-life battery systems, the power systems we have seen are merely derivative in their advancement.

And packaging into a modular building does NOT count!  That’s just a modification of a construction technique.

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