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Cloud opportunities drive data center innovations

In many ways, the proliferation of cloud computing is influencing decision-makers to reevaluate their infrastructure and implement innovative tools that can optimize server performance and boost the availability of mission-critical resources. Executives throughout the business world are building upon their data centers to ensure their organizations have the best chance of experiencing success without driving costs through the roof or inviting unnecessary security challenges.

A recent study of 300 IT decision-makers by Campos Research and Analysis on behalf of Digital Reality revealed that 98 percent of respondents said they plan on expanding their data center in 2013 or 2014. While there are a number of reasons driving this transformation, the majority of executives said the change will primarily be done to boost digital security capabilities.

Other managers said they are reinventing the data center to improve efficiency and support the use of new applications and services. The survey also revealed that the prospect of using a private cloud environment was a motivator for more than 60 percent of decision-makers to expand their data center.

"Data center demand is driven by the combination of a number of trends, including big data, cloud, virtualization, the need for greater energy efficiency and data center consolidation," said Michael Foust, CEO of Digital Realty. "Data center executives face the need for cost optimization as well as the support of important existing and emerging business initiatives."

A separate report by TechNavio noted that the private cloud market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of roughly 9 percent between 2012 and 2016. This is largely due to the low costs of using the cloud for data center operations compared to managing traditionally expensive on-site environments that were difficult to operate.

"The strong demand revealed by this survey indicates that senior leaders recognize the importance of data center strategies in meeting these requirements," Foust asserted.

In the coming years, decision-makers will continue to invest in private cloud technologies in an effort to improve operations, keep costs low and reduce the complexities associated with managing next-generation applications and solutions. By planning ahead and understanding what changes need to be made to the current data center to support the cloud, executives can navigate the increasingly complex landscape with fewer problems than their counterparts that fail to take the time to understand the necessity of this change.

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