Cloud computing's role in the evolving data center

The traditional data center is in for some changes as cloud computing continues to spread

This week I'm at the Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit, aimed at analysts looking to bring together traditional data centers and cloud computing -- not a bad concept.

So what's new here? The unmistakable understanding that the data center is changing forever, and you'll either get on board or the train will leave you behind.

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The data center players in attendance want to learn how the transformation needs to occur. Here's what they found out:

Many enterprise data centers will focus more on hosting private clouds in the future and, as a result, will need to retool to accommodate the required infrastructure. For example, intra-data-center bandwidth can no longer support server-to-server communications while driving massive amounts of virtualized servers. Moreover, they'll see a much larger number of cores per square foot, which have their own power and management requirements. Also, they'll need to consider different approaches for security and governance.

Many commercial data centers, such as colocated systems, are being overhauled to host public cloud providers and will need many of the features discussed above. However, they will be only a part of the offerings. Larger public clouds will be scattered all over the world, using numerous data centers owned by various entities.

Many data centers will have to consolidate in order to survive, including enterprise, government, and commercial systems. Never a high-margin business, many will become a part of a cloud provider or pool resources with their competition. Each must revamp and prep itself for the cloud, as few data centers are currently ready for the shift.

The data center is not dead, but it's going to morph into something much more efficient and effective than the current state of affairs. It's about time, if you ask me.

This article, "Cloud computing's role in the evolving data center," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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