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Data centre disruption

Tips to make IOT easy on the data centre.

Johannesburg, 22 Mar 2018
Read time 3min 30sec
Denver Pillay, Account Manager, Rittal SA.
Denver Pillay, Account Manager, Rittal SA.

Market researchers from IDC predict that, in the face of digitisation, 73% of companies see the need for big steps to modernise data centres. Industry 4.0, the Internet of things, big data and edge computing are the driving forces behind this process. Gartner estimates that the IOT will have 26 billion units installed by 2020. That's a lot of extra pressure on the data centre to process and store all of the data generated.

Today, the digitisation of all sectors of manufacturing, trade and other businesses requires a rapid and adequate provision of IT solutions through data centres that can be procured simply and economically and which can be operated efficiently and safely. To select the relevant solution, companies need a comprehensive range of solutions.

Denver Pillay, Account Manager at Rittal South Africa, explains how the Internet of things is impacting on demands placed on the data centre: "With big data and IOT pretty much taking over the world, I believe that there will be three main challenges faced by the data centre." He refers to these as the three S's: security, speed and storage.

Firstly, data centre security will have to be improved as there will be even more data threats than ever before. Two areas will require attention: the physical security of the data centre itself will have to be increased; while the software that protects the servers will have to be addressed.

According to Pillay, both computing speed and connectivity speed will have to improve radically. "Companies will be investing heavily in acquiring customer-critical data in order to help them make informative business decisions. They'll need to access this information faster than their competitors can in order to stay ahead of the game."

Finally there's a need to upgrade storage capacity, which goes without saying, as all of that data that's being collected will have to be stored somewhere.

The modern data centre

Pillay says that the points referred to above clearly outline the journey that the modern day data centre is embarking on. "Over and above the changes we're seeing to the physical attributes of the data centre, we're also seeing changes in the data centre's role. The data centre of the future will become a sales and marketing tool for business as they'll be collecting data that will enable them to make better business decisions. Some examples of customer data that will be collected will be, which products are being consumed, who are the main customers that purchase these items, in which season do they sell the most.

"This data will enable manufacturing companies to better plan production, it will assist retail companies with improved procuring ability, it will assist marketing companies in targeted marketing, the list of potential applications is extensive," says Pillay.

Choosing a data centre

The primary consideration when choosing a data centre to host your business's data is whether the data centre should be hosted onsite or at a third party facility. He says, "Once this decision is made, companies will need to look at the physical security of the data centre - that is, the building or room that it's housed in - as well as the scalability, and whether there's scope for growth. You also need to consider the data centre's uptime and what fail over measures are in place."

Pillay concludes with a parting piece of advice to businesses looking to choose a data centre provider: "When looking at a data centre, there are so many different components to consider, all of these components are usually supplied by various service providers. In my opinion, what sets apart a good provider from the rest will have to be the company that is able to provide a complete end-to-end solution."