How the Internet of Things will transform data centers

This week’s Smart Infrastructure roundup features the impact of IoT on data centers, a new state-of-the-art data center in Florida, and the story of a pharmaceutical company that turns to one smart storage solution provider for virtualization technology.

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IoT to transform data centers


The  Gartner IT Infrastructure Operations & Data Center Summit will kick off on May 21, 2014 in Sydney, Australia, but Gartner already released an interesting report regarding the impact of the Internet of Things is expected to have on data centers.

Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will include 26 billion units installed by 2020, and IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services, by that time.  Because of this, Gartner predicts data centers will soon feel the brunt of the workload and will need to make necessary adjustments or upgrades to keep up with the steady stream of Big Data in order to analyze in real-time.

Gartner identified that data centers will face challenges in security, the enterprise, consumer privacy, data itself, storage management, server technologies, and data center networking.

Joe Skorupa, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, stated that data center managers “will need to deploy more forward-looking capacity management in these areas to be able to proactively meet the business priorities associated with IoT.”

The report mentions that there is a current trend to centralize applications to reduce costs and increase security, but is not compatible with IoT trends.  Skorupa stated that this incompatibility will force organizations to aggregate data in multiple distributed mini data centers where initial processing can occur, then relevant data will be forwarded to a central site for additional processing.

This new architecture will present significant challenges for operations staff, along with potentially insoluble governance issues such as network bandwidth and remote storage bandwidth. Not to mention, the capacity to back up all raw data is likely to be unaffordable for most organizations, who will look to automating selective backup for the data they believe will be valuable/required. This will generate additional Big Data processing loads that will consume additional processing, storage and network resources to manage.

“Data center operations and providers will need to deploy more forward-looking capacity management platforms that can include a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system approach of aligning IT and operational technology (OT) standards and communications protocols to be able to proactively provide the production facility to process the IoT data points based on the priorities and the business needs. Already in the data center planning phase, throughput models derived from statistical capacity management platforms or infrastructure capacity toolkits will include business applications and associated data streams,” said Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner. “Those comprehensive scenarios will impact design and architecture changes by moving toward virtualization, as well as cloud services. This will reduce the complexity and boost on-demand capacity to deliver reliability and business continuity.”

Volico opens smart-grid data center


In preparation for the onslaught of Big Data in the coming years, smart technology will need to be applied to data centers for efficient managing. To that end, Volico, a provider of managed hosting, colocation, and cloud computing services, opened its second wholly owned colocation facility in South Florida to serve Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach county data center market.

The Tier IV data center in Broward County features a 2N+X redundant UPS Smart-Grid infrastructure and a 2N+X redundant generator with Smart-Grid Paralleling technology, which will allow Volico to use multiple floating generators. This high-performance backup system is a protected power-grid with XN+Y capabilities.

“We geared this new colocation facility specifically to meet the highest Tier IV Data Center Availability Standards – that means strong backup systems, minimal carbon footprint, and the most technologically advanced engineering methods to date,” stated Scott Cohen, Senior Data Center Engineer of Volico.

The data center has been engineered to provide emergency power according to eco-friendly standards, and boasts a unique ability to balance energy loads as needed for fuel conservation, leaving a minimal carbon footprint.

For security, the Tier IV data center implements the industry standard with 7-point military-grade access control security protocols which includes multiple Man-Traps, fingerprint biometrics, key combinations, and facial recognition. The new data center also features resilience, redundancy, and Carrier-Neutral connectivity.  It offers eoMPLS redundant cross-connectivity transport to Terremark’s 160 plus providers over Volico’s redundant and diversified private MPLS ring.  The data center utilizes Emerson Liebert Computer Room Air-Conditioning (CRAC) units to handle 300-watt/sq. ft. of 2N+X redundant cooling, and a predictive measure to handle future advancements in technology, such as the high-density computing applications in the future.

Pharmaceutical company seeks smart storage solution


Colorcon, a global pharmaceutical supplier, has turned to Tintri, which provides flash-based storage products specifically designed for virtualized and cloud environments, to underpin its entire virtualization environment.

The shift to utilizing Tintri’s VMstore T540 storage arrays was the result of its legacy SAN struggling to support Colorcon’s VMware and Windows environments across its steadily expanding global operations.  Colorcon’s IT team stated that it was faced with time-consuming and inefficient troubleshooting processes on a day-to-day basis, which was becoming a huge drawback for a company with tight timeframes.  Colorcon deployed four VMstore T540 storage arrays in its facilities, two in the UK and two in the US.  This allows the company to replicate critical VMs from the US to the UK for disaster recovery purposes.

Since adapting Tintri’s smart storage solution, Colorcon reports improved administration times and significantly reduced VM deployment times.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc