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09-September-2014

Virtual Data Centres

If you are reading this, then you may be familiar with Moore’s Law; the Law that predicts that approximately every two years the number of transistors on integrated circuits will double. This law has – since it was introduced in 1965 – proven to be relatively true, with average computing power and the size of computers changing rapidly. If we take a look at the speed with which change has become commonplace in recent years as opposed to the early years, we will see the truth of this statement.

  • 1971: ARAPNET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) begins, creating the precursor framework for the internet
  • 1974: Vinto Cerf and Robert Kahn publish a paper proposing the TCP/IP protocol
  • 1976: Queen Elizabeth is the first state leader to send an email
  • 1979: Compuserve offered commercial dial-up to anyone
  • 1985: The first .com domain is registered
  • 1987: The internet protocol TCP/IP becomes commonplace and a world wide web of interconnected networks is introduced.
  • 1990: Tim Berners Lee introduces the World Wide Web
  • 1995: The first VoIP calls are made
  • 1997: Cloud computing is coined as an expression
  • 2002: Blackberry launches a phone with voice, data and email capacity
  • 2004: Google lauches Gmail
  • 2007: Salesforce launches the first PaaS
  • 2008: First API compatible platform for private clouds is released
  • 2009: Apple releases the iPhone. Mobile computing is now the norm
  • 2010: “as a service” is now common vernacular
  • 2011: Private clouds begin to replace desktop infrastructure
  • 2013: Private cloud services and hybrid cloud platforms proliferate, making it easier than ever for businesses to outsource their data centres.

The evidence truly speaks for itself; change is occurring faster and faster. Today, servers still occupy a room, but rather than it being one server in one room, it is rack upon rack of servers in that same size room, serving content to the world. In fact, today cloud computing is de rigueur, so much so that physical servers are outnumbered by virtual servers 11:1. And this is but the tip of the iceberg. Smartphones, cheaper more powerful processors, the proliferation of as a service, faster wireless access and many other variables are working to change not only computing, but how we use technology.

physical servers are outnumbered by virtual servers 11:1

The future of Computing

However, you look at it, the field of computing is changing every day, and it is going to continue to. Once it was about putting a PC on every desk, today it is less about number of ‘terminals’ you have and more about the efficiencies you can achieve through virtualisation and mobile computing.

Once it was about putting a PC on every desk, today it is less about number of ‘terminals’ you have and more about the efficiencies you can achieve through virtualisation and mobile computing.

Where once PCs and laptops held all data within them in isolation, causing IT departments headaches galore, today resources are distributed though networks; improving redundancies and efficiencies. Staff on the road can access data and even their ‘desktop environment‘ in an instant, and in-house staff such as marketing staff can rest easily, knowing that for the next demand generation campaign, servers can be provisioned as needed and then deactivated once no longer required.

Whilst moving to the cloud does pose questions as to the complexity of where data resides and how it is accessed, the efficiencies gained in segmenting your datasets, or splitting your workloads has far greater advantage than potential downside. Not only is it more cost effective, but by moving to a virtualised data environment, the staff once hired to manage the server room and provide you with support to it, can now concentrate their expertise on other aspects of your business, improving your innovation and improving their sense of worth to the organisation. Where they once spent hours or days setting up new servers, they can provision them in minutes before getting back to new tasks which drive company development further.

And where you once had capital expenses which ate at your bottom line, you can now move costs to operational expenditure, helping to offset your taxable income. All in all, virtual data centres are just good business, why not make the transition today?

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