The evolution of technology and IT is placing ever increasing pressure on businesses.
Across New Zealand, and indeed the world, how and where to store data remains a key question for many CIOs and CTOs.
As the need to increase storage capacity escalates, driven by the growth of data hungry customers and applications, the continued prevalence of cloud and the explosion of Big Data, the need for data centre services continues to grow to new heights.
“IT and data centres are at the centre of everything, not much happens without them these days,” says Andrew Kirker, General Manager of Datacentres, Schneider Electric A/NZ, when speaking at Westcon’s LEAP into the Data Centre event in Auckland.
“They absolutely touch every industry and are changing industries also. The one I’ve noticed most recently is the taxi market.
“If you hop into a cab nowadays, the first thing you notice is a massive mobility shift in taxis but what you don’t realise is that the driver is working for three companies, Uber included.
“The reasoning? The industry has been shaken so much by IT and technology that they would be out of business otherwise.”
Consequently, the race to stay ahead of the game has meant that many online businesses such as Google, Facebook and Amazon have had to invest heavily in their data centre infrastructure to enable the launch of new products and services.
Although prospects for both the local and global economy remain uncertain, recent indications suggest that those central to the data centre market continue to feel positive about the prospects for the industry as a whole, and in line with the macro trends, expect growth in the data centre sector over the next few years.
Globally 69 per cent of respondents, according to a recent DLA Piper - 2014 Global Data Centre Market Report, felt optimistic about the data centre industry with this optimism coming from global developments in online, digital and mobile technology, as well as improvements to service provision.
In terms of feedback from different categories of respondents, the following groups all felt overwhelmingly positive in respect of the outlook for the global data centre industry:
- Financiers are largely positive - 76 percent were positive about the outlook for global data centre industry
- Customers - 62 per cent were positive about the outlook for the global data centre industry
- IT/Telecoms Consultants - 65 per cent were positive about the outlook for global data centre industry
“Looking at when the data centre bubble first burst back in 2000, the big difference was that then, there was no demand,” adds Kirker, providing Kiwi resellers with an overview of the datacentre market of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
“The Internet was only starting to become mainstream and there wasn’t as great a need for datacentres. But these days, the utilisation levels are running at 80 per cent creating a healthy supply and demand.
“This means that the chances of seeing a large service provider going to the wall are very small. It’s a confident market.”
Speaking as a channel organisation in Schneider Electric, and echoing his recent interview with ARN, sister publication of Reseller News, Kirker believes that over the past few years the definition of a data centre has changed.
“If you look at the old IDC definition,” Kirker told ARN, “a datacentre was any piece of infrastructure with active compute. That consisted of 100,000 centres in Australia and New Zealand.”
As Kirker explained earlier this year to ARN, the real definition of a datacentre is a “bit more tricky.”
“What is clear from our results is that the data centre market is currently undergoing a seismic change driven by a combination of consumer behavioural, technology and data centre procurement led change,” adds Anthony Day, Legal Director, Technology and Sourcing, DLA Piper.
“The current macro trends driving the growth of data, and in turn the data centre industry, are incredible.”
According to Day, the recent proliferation of tablets and smartphones, coupled with the content required to satisfy the (seemingly insatiable) end user needs, has led to an increased demand on data centre services, which only appears to be heading one way.
“Across the globe billions of dollars are spent on data centre infrastructure in order to meet the growing demands of businesses and their customers,” the report states.