The Stack Archive Expert View

Industry Must Innovate to Stay Ahead of IoT and Big Data

Mon 9 May 2016 | Tom Donovan

The global IT market is at an inflection point with the convergence of IoT and Big Data requiring changes to the landscape of the data centre industry.    Panduit’s culture of innovation over our sixty year history has positioned us for continued success and as an organisation we have set in place a number of initiatives that we believe will drive our global business forward.

IT managers that design and operate data centres have the challenge of striking the right balance between providing enough capacity, agility, and scalability with the data centre to enable big data and IoT to accelerate business results while optimizing operations to reduce its total cost of ownership.

A radical increase in data volume through-put is the single biggest influence on our industry, how it is collated, stored, analysed and distributed requires organisations to think differently for solutions. This has seen the rise of colocation data centres, allowing corporations to keep control of mission critical applications and data, while off-loading operational applications and storage to third-parties. This has also helped drive the consolidation of data centres, from which we are witnessing multi-billion dollar acquisitions.

As organisations co-locate the management of their IT infrastructure they must rely on those service partners to drive efficiency and provide a direct correlation of business value to data centre spend. Further, our industry is moving towards larger consolidated data centres, and these are utilising enhanced deployment of virtual machines (VMs) and Software-Defined-Networks (SDN) to increase compute usage of servers and storage equipment while more effectively routing big data in the data centre.

To address the data centre SDN market, Panduit is working closely with Cisco as their only physical infrastructure partner for Cisco’s ACI platform.  As a team, Cisco and Panduit have developed validated, scalable, and repeatable reference data centre architectures. Panduit has increased network density and with our Converged Infrastructure Solution, reduced deployment time while reducing overall project costs.

Increased deployment of SDN is providing a new way to operate, orchestrate and automate data management and enhancing workload and data traffic flow.  SDN is also having a very interesting effect on the physical infrastructure of the data centre site. As with the Cisco SDN ACI platform, the data centre design is moving to a two-tiered ‘Spine and Leaf’ architecture, which adds more agility and scalability to the site. It also allows increased fibre links between the spine core switches and the leaf ‘top-of-rack’ switches. These fibre links must have low latency and provide a clear migration path to higher data rate speeds of 40/100G and beyond. This is another key area of innovation for Panduit, with our extensive networking and cabling infrastructure expertise.

These larger data centres, with converged network applications, require much higher energy capacity to run the 1000s of storage, compute and switch network devices. The complexity of these larger consolidated data centres, has led increasing numbers of clients to investigate Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) systems. The right DCIM allows operators to increase capacity management and optimise operating costs for cooling, power, asset, physical security and intelligent cabling management.  These tools are becoming essential to collect environmental data as well as power and space usage from a multitude of IoT devices and are already demonstrating their capability to help to increase capacity utilisation and to improve operational efficiencies throughout the data centre. As a result, we are experiencing increased demand for Panduit’s SmartZone DCIM solution which uses a software dashboard system that integrates with intelligent hardware (PDU, connectivity, cabinet door access), intelligent sensors (SynapSense Wireless Mesh devices), and third party workflow management systems for asset tracking.

In EMEA, as well as other mature economic regions, the market trends are showing that data centre growth of colocation and cloud hosting far exceeds enterprise data centre growth. It is expected that through a period of consolidation a number of hyper-sites will also evolve. However, key to survival in the market will be the capability of the data centre to offer highly secure, efficient and optimised facilities to the end user. It is after all a business decision based on the added value derived from its use. In a world where business has no frontiers, organisations are becoming more comfortable with third-party IT infrastructure hosting their valuable data, and it is this fact that drives our industry.

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