Enterprising Developments

Consolidation, Virtualization and Cloud Computing: The Future of Data Centers

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, September 24, 2012

A new report out of Pike Research predicts “green” data centers will continue to thrive, with the worldwide market for green data centers growing from $17.1 billion in 2012 to $45.4 billion by 2016—a compound annual growth rate of nearly 28 percent.

What's fueling the growth? The Pike report attributes it to the combination of rising energy costs, increasing demand for computing power, environmental concerns and economic pressure.

I've spoken with insurance industry CIOs who are the forefront of green data center design, and ultimately, most of the green we'll be seeing won't necessarily be the result of wanting to be environmentally friendly—though it is a great cause. Instead, the “greening” will occur as a result of movements to consolidation, virtualization and cloud computing. It will simply require a lot less in the way of systems and equipment to deliver a lot more computing horsepower.

Eric Woods, research director for Pike, says that the forces of virtualization and cloud computing are transforming data centers. “The green data center is connected to the broader transformation that data centers are undergoing,” said Woods. “A transformation that encompasses technical innovation, operational improvements, new design principles, changes to the relationship between IT and business, and changes in the data center supply chain.”

Virtualization, the innovation with the greatest impact on the shape of the modern data center, is also recognized as one of the most effective steps toward improving power efficiency in the data center.

However, the report cautioned, in itself, virtualization may not lead to reduced energy costs. To gain the maximum benefits from virtualization, other components of the data center infrastructure will need to be optimized to support more dynamic and higher-density computing environments.

Cloud computing, meanwhile, has many advantages in efficiency, but new metrics and new levels of transparency are required if its impact on the environment is to be adequately assessed, the report found.

Still, as insurers continue efforts to improve data center efficiency and do a lot more with a lot less, there will be a nice green dividend as well.

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Of Enterprise BI

When IT can't deliver, business users build their own applications focusing on agility, flexibility and reaction times.

The IT-Savvy 10%

IBM survey reveals best practices of IT leaders.

The Software-Defined Health Insurer: Radical But Realistic?

Can a tech startup digitally assemble the pieces of a comprehensive, employer-provided health plan?

Data Governance in Insurance Carriers

As the insurance industry moves into a more data-centric world, data governance becomes more critical for ensuring the data is consistent, reliable and usable for analysis.

Fear This

Just days before this Issue, which contains our security cover story, went to press, we got some interesting news: 1.2 billion unique usernames and passwords and 542 million email addresses were reportedly stolen from 420,000 websites, according to The New York Times. The websites ranged from Fortune 500 companies down to small online retailers.

Should You Back Up Enterprise Data to the Cloud?

Six questions that need to be asked before signing on with an outside service.