Servers with a Chance of Cloud

If you spend any time around IT people you might think that in-house data centers and servers are as rare as pay phones. Like many things in popular culture, however, the reality is different from the perception. In the most recent study, released May 1, 2017, the Uptime Institute found, “the percentage of workloads residing in enterprise-owned/operated data centers has remained stable at 65 percent since 2014.” It would be easy to latch on to the 65% number and miss perhaps the most important element in their summary finding, the 65% has remained stable.

In weather reporting, “partly coludy” means more sun than clouds.

Looking deeper into the Uptime report shows details that do not quite mesh with current buzz that everything is moving to the cloud. Of the 35% of IT work that wasn’t being done in owner/operated data centers 22% of operations were still in data centers, but they were either co-located or multi-tenant centers. As of May 1, 2017, only 13% of Enterprise computing worldwide is in the cloud.

In the forty-five minute webinar on the study, Matt Stansberry, senior director for Uptime Institute noted that over the last five years of their study the industry percentage of in-house IT data centers has only changed within the margin of error. In short, there isn’t a decline. While he noted that about a third of respondents did plan to deploy some workloads in the cloud in the next year, Stansberry said that 50% of cloud deployment is for new computing capacity and growth, much of it by the large IT users like Netflix, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Given the industry buzz supporting cloud computing, IT managers would be negligent not to explore the options. Overall data center footprints are shrinking, but cloud deployments are only one aspect. Increased server performance and technology are shrinking hardware. In addition, a significant portion characterized as a move to the cloud is in fact virtualization implemented on owned servers. Small server installations in remote offices have been replaced, but with a virtual presence in the company’s own data center. There is new growth in the cloud, but not necessarily a rapid revolution.

As with all technology, things will change, but the just released report of data collected in early 2017, from 1,000 IT professionals, suggests that enterprise-owned/operated data centers are the rule rather than the exception, and that redeployment in the cloud is still a small part of the industry. At the end of his presentation of Uptime Institute’s findings Matt Stansberry summarized, “Enterprise-owned data centers have remained a central component. We urge data center and IT professionals to focus on the business aspects of running their IT foundation.”

As it has since 1976, Frontier Computer can provide IT hardware and enterprise computing solutions. We have experts who can identify the best way to deploy your workload — in-house, shared, or cloud — and help you transition when it’s time to make a change.

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