Cloud Computing and Data Center Predictions for 2012

Solid State Drives Go Mainstream 
The terrible flooding in Thailand has caused a shortage in hard drives. Hard drive prices have increased. I expect price increases from SAN manufactures such as NetApp, EMC, HP, and others. These shortages will also increase costs for Cloud Computing providers like Rackspace, Google, and Amazon.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, LSI CEO Abhi Talwalker said that companies are turning to solid state drives to relieve some of the hard drive back log. SanDisk, Marvell, and Micron have stated they have seen or expect to see increasing demand for SSD. InfoWorld reported on IDC market research that SSD shipments increased 66% in Q3 with the biggest advances coming from Enterprise (storage and servers) and Client (PCs). Price increases in traditional hard drives will provide a boost to solid state drive adoption rates in consumer PCs and SANs deployed in enterprise and service provider clouds. Also the increasing volume of SSD shipments will be accompanied by lower SSD costs. Look for more SSD in the SANs.

Hybrid Cloud Computing
In-house solutions such as Cisco Flexpod, VCE, HP Cloud, Microsoft, and others will see accelerated growth as enterprises have seen the benefits of public Cloud Computing but prefer some of the comforts of in-house private Clouds. I expect growth in Hybrid Cloud Computing deployments.

With the Hybrid model specific aspects of IT infrastructure is moved to the cloud. This allows you to mix and match the resources between in-house infrastructure which is difficult to scale and cloud resources that’s scalable and can be provisioned on demand. An example would be a Business Intelligence application where the data is located in-house cloud and the processing is performed in the cloud.

Data Center Fabric Infrastructure Takes Hold
Cisco, Juniper, and Brocade have been touting the benefits of a data center “Fabric”. In 2012, I expect to see data center fabric networks, running over 10Gb Ethernet, to move from the “early adopter” phase to the “mass adoption” phase. (It could be argued that this is already happening).

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Data Center Bridging (DCB) allows storage and network traffic to be transported across common lossless Ethernet links. Server adapters called Converged Network Adapters (CNA) unify storage and network I/O to FCoE data center switches.

Benefits of a Data Center Fabric infrastructure:
  • Consolidated server I/O
  • Reduced cabling
  • Reduced power consumption
  • Increased Virtual Machine mobility
  • High-Speed, low latency interconnectivity
  • Layer-2 connectivity

What do you think?