Posted By: Darren Bonawitz
Data centers are constantly evolving due to new, faster and better technology. In a recent article from SearchDataCenters.com, writers Alex Barrett and Matt Stansberry, unveil the newest data center trends for 2011.
Data Center Trends for 2011-
The data center has always been a heterogeneous place, but not for long. Slowly but surely, the variety of microprocessors that used to characterize our compute centers is giving way to homogenous hordes of x86 processors — mostly from Intel, with a smattering of AMD thrown in for good measure. In and of itself, x86’s increased presence is nothing new — x86 boxes have long outsold Unix and mainframes on a units-shipped basis. But in 2010, x86 servers represented the majority of server revenue as a whole, estimated by IDC at 66.1% in Q310. Expect that trend to continue, not abate.
The waning days of Unix
The corrolary to x86’s increased data center dominance is the decline of Unix, which data center buyers demoted to a legacy platform in 2010. Oracle, with its purchase of Sun Microsystems in 2009, appears to be hastening Unix’s demise, driving data center managers away with product cancellations and predatory support pricing, although other reports show Oracle/Sun sales holding steady.
Don’t just virtualize, automate!
Of course, part of the reason for x86’s increased data center dominance is virtualization, which has arguably been the defining data center trend of the last decade. But there are signs that all the virtualization hustle and bustle is coming to a close, as IT departments come to the end of the list of workloads they are willing to virtualize. With the bulk of the raw migration work behind them, many IT organizations want to build on the foundational layer they have built, and will introduce automation, a.k.a. private cloud computing, on top of their virtual infrastructure. The hope is to minimize manual tasks such as ensuring compliance, taking inventory, running reports, provisioning new workloads and testing disaster recovery plans. But while it all sounds good on paper, early adopters say they’ve had trouble getting buy-in for automation and private cloud outside the confines of IT.
Storage, data networks converge
Take a look at the average enterprise server, and hanging out the back you’ll find cables going to a handful of Gigabit Ethernet network interface cards (NICs) and a couple of Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) going to a SAN. That’s all changing with the availability of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), as data center managers take advantage of the 10 GbE’s superior bandwidth plus new network protocols to transfer both data and storage traffic over a single, tidy link. But while converged networks are the topic du jour for network and storage vendors, plenty of hurdles remain. Most existing storage systems, for one, don’t natively attach to Ethernet, requiring the use of intermediary bridging equipment. Further, most IT organizations aren’t set up for network and storage personnel to work together. An intermediary step toward converged networks may be to take advantage of existing IP storage technologies, like tried-and-true NAS and iSCSI.
Storage is exploding, still
File this under “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” IT professionals continue to grapple with modern applications’ seemingly limitless ability to generate data — and regulators’ unwavering demand that it be stored ad infinitum. In fact, Gartner estimates that storage capacity in the data center will grow 800% this year. Making matters worse is virtualization, which requires that storage be networked to enable live migration. To get a handle on out-of-control storage growth, data center managers must explore technologies like archiving and deduplication, or risk drowning their data centers — and budgets — in a sea of storage.
1102 GRAND, Kansas City’s data center and Internet hub, saw a 200-300 percent increase in its website and blog traffic, and cut 75 percent of its Google Adwords budget. The marketing ROI is part of an ongoing social media campaign with Jennings Social Media Marketing (www.jenningssocialmedia.com).
Darren Bonawitz, principal of 1102 GRAND, said that Jennings Social Media Marketing helped 1102 GRAND have a better perspective of online marketing strategies. “We were in need of marketing experts and that is exactly what we found in Jennings Social Media Marketing. We have worked with Jennings Social Media Marketing for approximately two years. In that time 1102 GRAND has had an increase in website traffic, saved 75 percent of the budget on the Google Adwords campaign, been requested for more interviews than we can handle and been able to realize significant quantifiable results through additional revenue,” said Bonawitz.
Bonawitz added that the focus on social media is extremely beneficial. “Jennings Social Media Marketing implemented many facets of social media marketing including Facebook, Twitter, e-newsletters, blog, case studies, organic search engine optimized press releases and Web videos. Social media is such a vital tool because it is constantly working. We have had so many great results, and it is hard to argue with results,” said Bonawitz.
Jennings Social Media Marketing is a full service company that utilizes the art of online storytelling with the science of measuring quantifiable results. Jennings creates comprehensive social media marketing and Web advertising strategies from website design and development to viral videos. The company represents publicly traded to medium-sized businesses across the U.S. and overseas including technology, sports, sustainability, entertainment, travel, financial, health care and real estate.
Posted By: Darren Bonawitz
So 2011 is officially in full swing, and before getting too far into the year, I wanted to take a quick moment to thank everyone for their ongoing support of 1102 GRAND. As in years past, our team met a lot of new people in 2010 and is fortunate that many have become customers. We appreciate the new business as well as the ongoing business from our existing customer base, and we look forward to working with everyone going forward. Thank you again for your confidence in 1102 GRAND!
Now, bear with my non-economist perspective on the economy. Although there is still uncertainty with the economy as a whole, from talking with several companies, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that things are better than they were a year ago. Businesses continue to see a lot of pent up demand, but that demand is slowly starting to release. Current and prospective customers alike are telling us they are starting to see the same thing although it is still not rapidly accelerating and not a guarantee month-to-month. So most companies do not appear to be seeing a flood of new activity, and I am certain the improvement occurring is not across the board for all companies or vertical markets. So no hate mail, please. I’m not saying that we’re back to “good times” yet or that everyone is “winning”. My point is that we should all be thankful for any improvement no matter how incremental or insignificant it may seem. Not going backwards is the first step forward.
If most of us can meet or exceed even the most modest growth targets for 2011, the results will be meaningful and the year will be far better than we’ve seen is a while. It is more than just about the numbers on the financial statements too. I’m convinced it is more important from a customer and employee confidence standpoint. It is so easy for people at all ranks within a company to go through the days and weeks on “bad economy cruise control”. As we start the New Year, I think it is time to shake the dust off, and find a little bit of the swagger from the good times. At 1102 GRAND, we are ready to go, and 2011 is going to be a good year! We hope you feel the same and are right there with us. All the best for a fun and profitable 2011!
Posted By: Darren Bonawitz
When we were at the Kansas City Area Development Council’s (KCADC) annual meeting a couple of weeks ago, Greg and I caught up with several friends and met some great people. One such group we had the pleasure of being introduced to is New Landings, and I wanted to make sure people were aware of this organization.
While things appear to be better with the economy than they were a year or two ago, I know that there are still many people looking for a job and many others who are still at risk. If you are out of work or know others who are, please check out their information and be sure to share with others. http://www.nljc.org/