C&W Perspectives

DATA CENTRES Is it the end of the ‘in-house’ data centre? Businesses are moving IT applications to Cloud, inevitably reducing the use of their dedicated data centres. What is the impact? The mechanical and electrical infrastructure within a data centre cannot necessarily be scaled back to reflect a decrease in utilisation. The implications are: 1. That there is little or no cost saving in reducing the utilisation of a data centre. 2. There comes a point where underutilisation has a negative impact on energy efficiency. 3. This results in an increase in energy consumption, elevating Op-Ex. This is most effectively analysed on a ‘per kW of utilised IT load’ basis versus PUE (Power Utilisation Effectiveness). A ccording to Gartner analyst David Cappuccio, by 2025, 80% of businesses will have shut down their dedicated data centres, compared to just 10% today. The vast majority of these will have been owned and operated in-house by the business. This is not breaking news but the rate of decline might be. With the growth of Cloud and its enhanced service offerings and cost savings, industry experts have predicted the demise of the in-house data centre for nearly a decade, but this is now reality. Cloud computing is the delivery of all computing services (servers, networking, storage, data bases etc) through the Internet and managed by providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and IBM Softlayer. This also includes the physical real estate – the data centre. Cloud is not an additional IT service to the ‘in-house’ data centre – it can largely replace services being delivered from the Cloud providers’ own data centres. As businesses migrate to Cloud, there is a fall in the utilisation of the in-house facility. A redundant facility looms. Utilisation within data centres is measured in terms of IT load consumption and kilowatts, not square feet. A data centre full of servers might suggest an intensive usage however understanding the underlying IT consumption may paint a very different picture. According to the Uptime Institute, nearly 60% of businesses experienced reduction in their physical IT footprint in 2017. Interestingly all other metrics associated to data centres increased. By Mark Trevor, Partner, Data Centre Advisory Group Many companies continue to migrate their IT Services to cloud whilst still using their data centres, which sees them paying for the service twice PERSPECTIVES 16 DATA CENTRE