internal data center traffic expected to grow threefold over the next five
years1—and the penetration of Internet of Things (IoT) devices
predicted to be 30 billion strong by 20202—enterprise data center
bandwidth is at risk of being overloaded in the near future. Same could be
said of colocation facilities as well. These are hardly revelations anymore.
Technology builds upon itself, so its growth is almost always exponential.
to say, data center managers are having to adapt to some pretty tough
challenges: applications demanding higher lane speeds and ultra low-latency
performance; increasing port densities that can support leaf and spine
networks; and, while you’re at it, find a way to improve network availability
while lowering costs across the board.
For many data center
managers, the answer lies in migrating their infrastructure—either with rip and
replace or slowly over time—to support the new speed, latency and port density
requirements. But is this both necessary and true for all data center
facilities? Absolutely not.
the one hand, there is no ignoring the fact that current and future data usage
trends are alarmingly high and not expected to level off in the foreseeable
future (read that as “ever”). So infrastructure migration is not a question of
if but when. On the other hand, every data center facility has a very unique
set of business requirements, stakeholder expectations and technical
across this region, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have been
highlighted as leaders in the development of regional data centers while
colocation demand across the African continent is increasing two to three times
faster than the supply, according to Data Centre Dynamics. Spending in data centre systems in the Middle
East is expected to grow slightly from $4.09 billion in 2016 to $4.19 in 2019,
according to Statista. Infrastructure migration, therefore, becomes a matter of
timing. So, if not now, when is the right time?
Pay attention to the standards. One of the
requirements for proposing development of a new standard is being to
demonstrate the need for and feasibility of the new standard. In other words,
bodies like IEEE, TIA and ISO typically will not initiate work on a proposed
standard if there isn’t much of a market need. So if a standard is being
developed you can bet there is sufficient market demand for whatever is being
Know your business. Data centers do
not exist in a vacuum. Every facility plays a role in the greater ecosystem of
the organization (or market, if you’re a co-lo). Understanding the degree to
which the organization relies on the data center is critical. In some cases,
prepare to be surprised. A 2015 study
looked at the investment decisions of managers at over 1,000 companies and
discovered that gut instinct tended to drive decisions rather than data.
What’s the cost of standing pat? If you’re going to delay your migration, make
that decision with eyes wide open. New applications or sudden changes in market
dynamics can increase the bandwidth requirements overnight. As data center
demands grow, what’s the effect on your infrastructure and how will that impact
manageability and potential downtime?
bottom line is that your data center exists to serve a particular role. To
determine if the time is right to migrate to higher speeds, ask yourself this
simple question: “Is my physical layer holding me back?”
CommScope, this is the stuff we think about every day. We can help you assess
your data center and, if the time is right, take it to the next level. We’ve
put together an interesting infographic with some interesting ideas to
consider. Take a look at The Five Steps to Avoid Obsolescence then let us know when you’re ready. Also, don’t forget to say hello during GITEX, 8-12
October 2017 where we’ll be showcasing our high speed migration platform in Dubai.
Strategies North American Enterprise Survey; Infonetics Research; May 2015
enabling the Internet of Things, IHS Technology, 2016