Just because data centers have always been designed, built, and operated one way doesn’t mean they can’t change. The data center should and will evolve. Here, discover what an evolved data center looks like, what it means for you as a data center consumer, and how it can be delivered.

Cloud computing and the Internet of Things start with the data center. So data centers need to be ready for the digital tsunami heading their way.

That’s the conclusion of an April 2015 study by research firm IDC, which analyzed the growing impact of IoT on data center demand and operation worldwide. The amount of multi-tenant data center capacity that is consumed by IoT workloads will increase nearly 750 percent between 2014 and 2019, according to IDC forecasts.

Will the data center be ready?

The rapid expansion of IoT to enhance existing products, deliver new services, and transform entire industries will be a major driver of technology investment in the coming decade, says IDC. But investment isn’t enough. The data center – the foundation for our digital world – needs more than new investment. For data centers to manage the coming digital tsunami, the data center needs to evolve.

There are other trends that demand an evolved data center model, as well. For one, there has been a sea change in how we consume and pay for things. From music to TV, as consumers we’ve become used to buying just what we want, when we want. Where you used to have to buy a whole album to get the one song you wanted, now you can buy just that one song. Where you used to have to buy all 189 cable channels just to get one, now you can stream your favorite shows online.

The change in how we consume entertainment is part of a broader evolution in how we consume – and, accordingly, pay for – most things at home and at work. As we move from pay-to-own to pay-for-access, we get more choices, more control. Paying just for what you use feels right.

Indeed, there’s something profoundly unfair – and wasteful – about a model in which the provider tells you what you will consume, when and where, and how much you will pay for it. Yet as long as the industry has existed, that’s been the data center model. Traditional data centers force you to predict how much power you might consume 5-10 years from now (an impossible feat) – and pay for it today, regardless of how much power you actually consume.

Beyond a coming digital tsunami and a sea change in how we consume and pay for things, a third trend that demands an evolved data center model is the misalignment between IT infrastructure costs and data center infrastructure costs. Twenty-five year ago, power and cooling infrastructure was a fraction of the total capital outlay required for a data center and the cost of IT infrastructure was a far greater portion of data center costs than today. When power and cooling costs were low, efficiencies were secured by adding equipment to create redundancies. But in the late 1990s, the cost of power and cooling infrastructure outpaced the cost of IT infrastructure. That calls for new ways of thinking.

It’s an issue that has, appropriately, made its way to the boardroom. According to McKinsey, “With average data center costs now threatening to crowd out other technology investments, the matter has become a board level concern.” There has to be a way to change the data center infrastructure cost and efficiency trajectories – bring costs down and efficiencies up – or else the Internet of Things, cloud, and the other trends driving increasing capacity demand could become too heavy for enterprises to bear.

The data center should, and will, evolve.

Enter Aligned Data Centers

Aligned Data Centers is the first to bring an evolved data center model to the marketplace. It’s a model where:

  • Reliability and efficiency co-exist. You don’t need to sacrifice efficiency to have redundancy; you can reduce cost and maintain uptime.
  • Supply and demand align. Data center capacity can be deployed quickly and in increments that match demand. You no longer need to over-provision ahead of current demand.
  • Power densities can scale within your existing footprint. There is no need to move out of your data center to support your new power hungry IT gear. Stay right where you are – your data center is now future-proof.
  • You pay for what you use. If you use less than you need, you won’t be penalized. Pay-for-use is the modus operandi for most “as-a-service” offerings today. The data center is no longer the exception.

So what does an evolved data center look like? Broadly, it’s a data center that rationalizes costs with modern power and cooling infrastructure. It’s a data center that is aligned with the needs of the business and its environment. It’s a data center that is flexible, so the infrastructure can scale to meet IT demand today and tomorrow. And it’s a data center that is consumed on a pay-for-use basis.

You no longer need to be confined by the constraints of traditional data center infrastructure, providers, and pricing. With Aligned Data centers you now have an option. You can deploy the data center capacity you need when you need it and pay for what you use. You can improve reliability and cut cost. You can reduce the risk of making long-term commitments based on the unknown. You can free up stranded capital that could add value to other areas of your business. With Aligned Data Centers, you are in control of your data center.

Learn more. Check out the The Data Center Must Evolve Insight Brief.

Aligned Data Centers is the first pay-for-use data center provider to offer consumption-based pricing for enterprises, service providers, and governments who require greater control of their data center.