2021 is the year of the cloud-connected data centre

BrandPostBy NetApp
Apr 15, 2021
Cloud Computing IT Strategy

As modern data requirements continue to shift, the cloud-connected data centre is key to ensuring businesses thrive in the digital world

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Modern data requirements have changed, and so has the data centre. Since March 2020, when global events caused organisations across the world to dramatically change the way they work, the adoption rate of hybrid clouds soared. What’s become abundantly clear is that without building flexibility and agility into operations with the cloud, businesses are being left behind.

At the start of the macro events over the last year, many companies found themselves unprepared for the challenges of remote working. Industries that hadn’t previously had a heavy digital presence scrambled to get a comprehensive work from home strategy up and running, while organisations that were normally able to access LANs and files locally had to use, move, store, and access huge amounts of data virtually.

All of this put tremendous pressure and onus on the data centres to adapt. Sectors as varied as CAD design, education, VDI and enterprise finance all had to pivot and find new ways of matching their data centre needs with this new way of working.

However, according to research from Gartner, despite shifting budgets leading to a decline in data centre spending in the past year, end-user spending on global data centre infrastructure is projected to increase by 6% – reaching $200 billion in 2021. Furthermore, the recent surge in adoption rates of cloud applications means some 94% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centres by 2021.

As these adoption rates continue to grow, many customers are now turning to vendors for help with their journey from on-premise to the cloud, looking for support as they begin to navigate the world of cloud-connected data centres. “Hybrid cloud is extremely prevalent in 2020 and will become more so in 2021,” says Lee Dunn, director of data centre specialist Arrow Electronics, a NetApp partner. “The word ‘hybrid’ is the most important part, because it encompasses technology being still on-premises at a customer site, whilst also having the ability to scale into the cloud should that be needed.

“Given current customer requirements and people needing to work from home a lot more, having the ability to access, store and analyse data, quickly and succinctly is vital. From that perspective, the hybrid cloud methodology is pretty much the be all and end all for most technology vendors.”

Cloud-connected data centres offer improved scalability and control, cost savings, and the increased agility and innovation necessary to help these newly distributed companies to continue to thrive in difficult circumstances. Business continuity and improved security and risk management are other key benefits provided by cloud-connected data centres. 

This ability to move workloads, applications and the business at large quickly and in a new direction is key to surviving. Adopting hybrid cloud gives organisations the flexibility to support their remote and distributed employees with on-demand access to data that isn’t tied to one central location.

As people increasingly work away from the office, flexible and accessible computing environments will be critical for attracting top talent and optimising productivity and efficiency across organisations.

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