So here we are in 2014 and what do we foresee? Flexibility, and Economy, many organizations will need to review their presumed need for direct data center ownership and operation, as the cost of building, operating and upgrading their own facilities becomes more expensive, and less of a strategic advantage. So like NASA, they will need to outsource to one degree or another and may be driven to migrate toward co-lo and cloud services and a hybrid of both.
For new data centers think Sustainable Resource Optimization. While we may not see a data center power by wood pellets, sustainability will have a greater impact on site selection. Decisions will based on taking advantage of favorable climatic conditions, as well as fuel types or sustainable power, either generated by onsite (i.e. fuel cells) or supplied by local generation (solar, where possible), via Power Purchasing Agreements. This will not just be for Apple, Ebay and Microsoft scale sites, even some enterprise and co-location providers (and their customers) will begin to see the social, political and business value of this. This will be coupled with better overall energy efficiency (not just facility PUE), perhaps aided by DCIM or simply by better cooperation between IT and Facilities – and if all the planets were to align, perhaps even with senior management.
Climate Change and catastrophic weather – The 100 Year Event is the New Normal. Organizations will need to revise their traditional Disaster Recovery (cold site) strategies and move towards multiple geographically diverse sites with Active-Active replication, to deliver Business Continuity rather than just DR. This will become the de-facto alternative and has become more technically and economically feasible due to virtualization, coupled with lower cost of bandwidth and cloud services.
So as we say goodbye to 2013, have a Low-Carbon, Green Holiday Season and a Happy Sustainable New Year!