Thursday, November 23, 2017

5 critical data centre and cloud lessons learnt at Datacloud Nordics 2016

From Stockholm to the world, industry leaders discussed how the industry is changing and consolidating in the booming digital economy.

It has never been so hot to be cool and the Nordics know it. This was shown at one of the largest gatherings of Nordic industry leaders and beyond in Stockholm, Sweden, in October.

At Datacloud Nordics 2016, there was a clear message: the industry is coming out of its silos, looking to consolidate and indeed, collaborate with others. After all, it is through collaboration and partnerships that the future will be built.

In the words of Jukka-Pekka Joensuu, EVP and deputy CEO at Cinia Group Oy, “too much today is not enough tomorrow”.

As the speed of technology evolution just keeps accelerating, with billions of devices coming online and thousands of companies adopting cloud first-roadmaps and data strategies, “too much” can indeed be just not enough very soon.

While the industry is already reading for next year’s Datacloud Nordics in Oslo, Norway, Data Economy sums up the top lessons from this year’s conference.


Hybrid Cloud does not exist

Despite many today talking about hybrid cloud, Jelle Frank vn der Zwet, Interxion, has the view that hybrid cloud as a term is not the most correct way to describe the new IT-hype.

“This is all about hybrid IT, not hybrid cloud,” he said on stage.

Building on this, he then went on to explain what this IT landscape looks like and it is going.

Taking on McKinsey&Company research, Zwet said there is a “shift from build to consume”, as by 2018, 53% more companies plan to have public IaaS, virtual private cloud and/or a dedicated private cloud as their primary environment for at least one workload type.

This represents a 23% drop compared to 2015’s figures.

The shift towards hybrid IT is being done as traditional cloud over the internet shifts towards the emerging cloud over WAN.

This is due to improved network performance, high availability rates, service guarantees, better security and reduced bandwidth costs.

With enterprises IT pool enlarging at speed, hybrid IT is set to create the bespoke and responsive IT environment in which companies can trust.


Barriers to using the cloud

The cloud is unquestionably the main discussion point of the moment, and despite having been around for a few years, there are still several barriers to adoption.

While “data centres are at the heart of the digital economy”, according to Phil Collerton, MD at the Uptime Institute (London, UK), it is crucial to the enterprise world that the industry as a whole comes up with the right answers to the bottlenecks being felt.

Collerton unveiled research by the Uptime Institute that found that in the next two years “there will be a dramatic shift towards cloud”, from 38% to 56% organisations planning on moving workloads to cloud environments.

Yet, this shift could possibly be faster if the main barriers to using the cloud are brought down.

Collerton said security is the number one obstacle companies are being faced with.

This is followed by data compliance and regulation issues, and data location and sovereignty.

Budgets and costs came up as barrier number four, and migration/integration as the fifth.


Data centres should be managed by IT

Data centres are an IT asset and IT should be the department responsible for the running of these environments.

That is according to Mark Acton, Critical Services Director, CBRE Data Centre Solutions who took the stage to speak on combined IT and FM operations in the data centre.

Acton said: “IT should ultimately take responsibility for data centre service availability. IT guys should manage the data centre, because ultimately data centres are an IT service.

“The IT world brings a lot to the table.”

Acton then took on the Nordics to widen the discussion into how the region can in fact help to break the recurrent model data centres have been managed throughout the years.

“The Nordics is becoming very much of a hot spot. Maybe there is an opportunity to go beyond the power, skills, etc. Maybe there is an opportunity to break the model, and frankly be a lot better [with the Nordics approach].

“This is a very forward thinking region.”

Acton also said that CBRE has a dedicated data centre business, which is “not just about selling but also managing the data centre”. The company has 25 facilities and a contract value worth up to $1.75bn.


There’s no stepping back

Data centres are at the heart of globalisation and digitisation and there is no way back. Strong words from Phil Collerton, MD at the Uptime Institute EMEA, who took to the stage to talk about ‘digitisation and the changing shape of data centres’.

Driven by consumerisation of IT, cloud adoption, end point proliferation and broadband penetration and IP growth, digitalisation is being fuelled by the data centre.

“[The data centre] is a strategic asset that supports higher productivity, increased innovation and contribution to growth,” said Collerton.

Based on a survey by the Uptime Institute, Collerton said that senior enterprise executives expect the majority of their IT workloads to reside off-premise in the future. 70% of executives said they expect this scenario by 2020, while 23% expect it by 2017.

With digitalisation happening at an ever growing adoption rate, hybrid infrastructure also seems to be the very way to win. That is according to the fact that 75% of enterprise IT organisations deploy compute workloads outside their own data centres.

Collerton also warned the industry of a “dramatic shift to the cloud within the next two years”, as workloads will be migrated to cloud environments. This will grow from today’s 38% to 56% by 2018.


Scandinavia leading cloud transformation

By 2018, 50% of applications in the public cloud will be mission-critical. That is according to global colocation company Equinix and its senior manager and cloud evangelist, EMEA, Sachin Sony.

When it comes to regions, Sony said the Scandinavian countries are leading the way in Europe. This is leading to 47% of Scandinavian enterprises planning to increase their overall ICT investments in 2016, compared to only 28% of respondents in 2015.

Yet, 32% of enterprises in the region still plan to decrease their overall ICT investments in 2016, witnessing a significant decline of 11% compared to 2015, Sony said.

When it comes to splitting the budget for cloud investment, IaaS still gets the highest portion with 35% of the budget, followed by SaaS with 33% and PaaS with 32%.

Scandinavian enterprises allocated 41% of their average cloud computing budget to private cloud, 29% to hybrid cloud and 30% to public cloud.

Sony said: “Forward looking growth in 2017 expected to be driven by hybrid cloud and IaaS.

“We expect hybrid cloud to gain further traction in 2016 – 2018 as it is the only deployment model to provide the best of public and private cloud. We also expect adoption on IaaS to continue to grow, followed by SaaS and PaaS.”