flying-cabinetsI have had the pleasure of being involved in many seminars, data center tours and conversations about the hosting industry over the course of the last two years. Geographically disperse as well as different tiers and designs, one thing is becoming increasingly clear, the data center is dead. Or that is at least the story.

Almost to a person when the question comes up, experts in all fields give the same answer, the traditional data center is no longer needed and everything is going to be in the cloud. This logic seems very sound especially considering the marketing we absorb nearly daily from AWS, Azure, and a litany of other provider that are insistent the end is nigh for data centers. So if that is true then why are data centers being built and filled with a speed that is breakneck.

The answer is two-fold:

  1. The same cloud we talk about disrupting the brick and mortar colocation facility is the same one that is driving the growth. There is no cloud without data center. The power and bandwidth required to run the cloud are unavailable in most if any traditional office space.
  2. The cloud, which has become a mythical silver bullet for IT, is actually no such thing and many IT departments still rely on a more traditional infrastructure in concert with the cloud to make the real magic happen.

As a result the data center as we know it is becoming less marginalized and more central to any discussion on a true solution for one’s company. In fact, many people now see their data center strategy as a central tenet to their future success. If you don’t believe me, and mind you I am mildly self-serving, then please take some time to read any major publication including Data Center Dynamics, which has consistently predicted a 15% and higher growth rate for the industry. Or more recently Data Center Knowledge which has shown compelling evidence that the data center revolution has only just begun by highlighting the strategies of monolithic companies like Microsoft, IBM and Apple as well as neophytes like Facebook and their cadre that are all spending billions to grow their data centers and make their SaaS services available to more and more people.

I will be discussing this at much length in future blogs, but for today I think it is safe to say, “The King is Dead!” And also, “Long Live the King”.