Equinix’s data centre in Singapore (Image Courtesy: Equinix)
The Asia-Pacific data centre markets have enjoyed a year of robust growth and 2014 is poised to be another season of data-driven acceleration. Singapore’s prime geographical location and advanced technological development in Asia makes it uniquely placed to take advantage of the data surge.
The new data stimulants of cloud services, mobile content, personal content, social media and the big data demands of sectors like financial services are set to take us to new data consumption highs in 2014. As an expert in data centre and co-location services, Equinix has highlighted five key trends to note in 2014.
1. Public and Private Cloud Service Providers to Drive IT Market Demand:
We expect 2014 to be a year of explosive growth in cloud service consumption with all the major cloud providers becoming more aggressive in deploying their services. Over the coming year, we also expect to see many enterprise CIOs moving beyond simply deploying selected applications in the cloud and start to really move cloud services mainstream for their production environments.
There will be even more enterprises that choose hybrid cloud architecture in order to maximize the performance of mission-critical applications. For example, Equinix’s NetApp Private Storage for AWS solution has been successfully enabling companies to leverage on-demand cloud compute services while their data remains secure on a private NetApp storage array. These companies will continue to benefit from the security and reliability of the private cloud and on-premise data centres, as well as the scalability and flexibility of the public cloud.
In its 2014 prediction piece, Gartner stated that enterprises should design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind and make sure future integration and interoperability are possible. The private-or-public cloud debate of yesteryear has shifted to the private-and-public cloud debate: namely what data should reside in the private cloud and what should reside in the public cloud.
2. Convergence of Business and Personal Use of Technology
While the cloud is a big contributing factor to data centre demand, other drivers that will remain key in the year ahead include rising mobility. The increasing use of personal mobile devices in the work place means that a constant stream of structured and unstructured data is being created, contributing significantly to the rise in traffic.
Employees have been using their personal devices at work for quite some time, much to the dismay of the IT department. Now that the floodgates of Do-It-Yourself IT (DIY-IT) have opened, more employees than ever are adapting the services that they use in their personal lives (i.e. Gmail, Dropbox, etc.) as business and collaboration tools.
The concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has evolved to include Bring Your Own Apps and Bring Your Own Cloud, which is creating new IT challenges for the enterprise beyond simply managing devices. For 2014, we see the cloud playing a more pronounced role in propelling this trend, as DIY-IT makes it a technological imperative for companies of any size to secure their cloud’s data and processes, in addition to all the components that connect into it.
3. IT Struggles to Keep Up with Business Process Demands
With concepts such as BYOD in full force, IT is struggling to stay on top of all the demands that are placed on it. Growing traffic, an increasingly dispersed end user base, and the proliferation of mobile devices have all created a perfect storm of latency and performance issues that are simply overwhelming old deployment models.
As a result, enterprises will develop more IT strategies that encompass an organization’s data management, network optimization and application performance. For instance, we see an increasing number of our customers deploying their common, off-the-shelf enterprise network equipment from their corporate location to shared data centres where network service providers come to peer. This allows for a highly available and agile service that gets the IT department ahead of the demand storm.
4. Big Data Here to Stay
In the next year, the Big Data conversation will evolve from experimentation to real practical cases. More businesses than ever before will generate, access and hold more data than they can fully analyse or manage, in spite of data processing advances like MapReduce and Hadoop. As a result, the speed at which these organizations can access where this data is stored will be vital to the success of their strategies.
We believe that Big Data is in it for the long haul. Storing, processing and analysing data is becoming less and less expensive. Numerous companies are in the big data application development game and will continue to produce applications that harness data in new ways. In fact, IDC predicts that companies will spend more than $14 billion on Big Data technologies or services, which translates to 30 percent growth year-over-year.
With the emergence of new data intensive sectors in the digital economy, expect low latency, close proximity and immediate access to other businesses to be top priorities for many CIOs.
5. Overseas Markets Heat Up
We continue to see a surge in demand for data centre and interconnection services in Asia Pacific with current estimates placing the public cloud market at US$22 billion and the virtual private cloud market at US$10 billion by 2020. South America, and in particular Brazil, is expected to be a hot market as companies prepare for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games that will be held there.
Equinix recently opened a second data centre in the region in anticipation of many multinational companies gearing up for those events by expanding their IT infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro. As Brazil continues its rise as an international commercial centre, we expect an increase in data centre demand in this market.
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