Intelligent Infrastructure in the Data Center: What Does It Mean for the Enterprise?

Why Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality and Predictive Analytics are Must-Haves

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Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), predictive analytics (PA) and virtual reality (VR) are powerful new technologies at the heart of societies’ transformation into a global digital economy.

Fueling the transformation are exponential increases in digitized data and the ability to apply AI to enable big data and cloud applications and services once thought to be beyond the reach of computing technology.

Mega-scale Internet businesses such as Amazon Prime, Twitter, Uber, Netflix, Xbox and many others are now an integral part of our lives and exemplify the new global digital economy…and they all start in a data center somewhere.

Whether it is an “in-house” data center owned and operated by an enterprise or a “multi-tenant” mega data center specializing in managing and optimizing the IT infrastructure of hundreds of enterprise and government clients, the data center is the heartbeat of any IT strategy.

For decades data centers were built to provide basic “ping, power and pipe” for a simpler, less demanding age. With the digitized data explosion, and as requirements for compute, storage, networking, and cloud continue to expand, the game is changing for data centers. Data is now an asset and a significant part of almost every business operation. Practically every organization has started implementing aggressive data collection and analysis for various applications. To address this, being able to leverage AI in the data center in a feasible manner is now a necessity for every data-driven business.

Adopt or Perish

According to Gartner, companies that fail to incorporate the revolutionary potential of these technologies—from cloud computing to big data to artificial intelligence (AI)—into their data center infrastructure may soon find themselves well behind the competitive curve.

In fact, Gartner has claimed that more than 30% of data centers that don’t deploy AI and machine learning won’t be operationally and economically feasible in the near future. Therefore, every data-driven business must implement AI and machine learning for their data centers. AI will also help organizations stay ahead of increasing data storage and processing requirements.

While many data centers are now struggling to cope with the new demands, forward-thinking data center operators are investing in AI and next gen technologies to improve every aspect of their operations - from boosting network efficiency to improving reliability to optimizing power utilization to enabling new physical security and visualization tools leveraging real-time data.

The most innovative data center operators are embracing data-driven business models that are accelerating the transformation of data center services. Intelligent IT infrastructure services powered by software-defined service delivery platforms are opening a wide range of new possibilities for enterprise and government organizations.

And with COVID-19 transforming businesses into a global remote workforce, demand for advanced remote management, monitoring and automated provisioning of services is at an all-time high.

The Rise of Intelligent Infrastructure

QTS Realty Trust (NYSE: QTS) is a large data center operator that provides these remote services and much more. Supporting its commitment to digitize its entire end-to-end systems and processes, QTS is the first and only multi-tenant data center operator with a sophisticated software-defined orchestration platform powered by AI, ML, PA and VR technologies.

Over four years QTS has developed its API-driven software-defined Service Delivery Platform (SDP) and artificial intelligence engine that digitizes, aggregates and analyzes more than 4 billion data points (per day) across all of QTS’ customers IT environments. By applying AI and machine-learning, data is presented through QTS’ robust user interface that includes mobile platforms.

SDP is new and spans far beyond narrow data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools and strategies. It empowers customers to interact with their data, services, and connectivity ecosystem by providing real-time visibility, access and dynamic control of critical metrics across hybrid IT environments from a single platform and/or mobile device. It is akin to it having a software company within the data center delivering operational savings and new business innovation that are central to every IT investment.

Software-defined Service Delivery

SDP applications leverage next-generation AI, ML and PA to accurately forecast power consumption, automate the provisioning of services, perform online ordering and asset management. VR technologies are enabling new virtual collaboration tools and a 3D visualization application that renders an exact replication of a customer’s IT environment in real-time.

Through policy-based automation of the digitized data and facilities infrastructure, QTS data center customers benefit from unprecedented levels of data transparency, real time analytics and trending, oversight and control of IT deployments, and the ability to provision new services in minutes.

Result? Operational savings and new business innovation that are at the heart of any IT investment.  .

The Street is taking notice too.  QTS’ SDP was profiled in the Raymond James Industry Brief: Data Maps and Killer Apps (released June 2020) that surveyed the platforms of three global data center operators:

“While all three platforms have the ability to track and report common data, the ease of use of the systems was quite different. Only QTS had the entire system wrapped up into an app that was available across multiple desktop, tablet, and mobile platforms, complete with 3D imaging and simple graphics that outlined the situation visually down to an individual rack within a cabinet. QTS' system also has video capability using facial recognition to detect and identify employees and contractors separately, highlight an open cabinet door and other potential hazards inside the customers cage, and it is all either real time or on a recorded basis to highlight potential errors and problems. Live heat maps allow customers to see the areas with potential and existing performance issues and to see outages in real time and track down problems. As far as features and functionality, QTS SDP system was the clear winner.”

 

Interested in learning more?  Request an SDP demo here and consider signing up for a Virtual Tour of QTS’ newest mega data center in Ashburn, Virginia.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.