It’s that time of year again. The holidays are upon us and we are just about to close the curtain on 2013. Like most years there have been some good things– We learned who Red John was ( I was right). A new heir to the British throne was born. Alabama crushed Notre Dame to win the National Championship. And we all learned what “twerking” is—and some that were not so good—Obamacare was rolled out. We learned that the government knows more about us than we know about ourselves, and that it doesn’t look like Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus are going away any time soon. But those things are all in the rear view mirror, and now it’s time to fearlessly peer into the future to prognosticate on what we will see in the data center industry in 2014. Drum roll please.
1) Google will build a new data center in Siberia. Greenpeace and Putin will be thrilled. Amnesty International and members of Pussy Riot, not so much.
2) We will begin to see the beginnings of consolidation in the industry. Some of the smaller providers will be consumed to help larger players expand their footprint into lower tier markets. For customers, this will give a new definition to the term “upgrade”.
3) Plagued with an over abundance of built space, wholesale guys will enter the retail market much to the chagrin of their existing retail customers. Oh wait, that already happened.
4) Both Jennifer Aniston and Kim Kardashian will be unceremoniously dumped by their current significant others. Both will sink their clutches into some new unsuspecting sucker, I mean paramour, within days of their heart wrenching break-ups.
5) DCIM for capacity management will finally become a basic new data center requirement. Sure, this has been on everyone’s list for past couple of years, but the increased demands of cloud platforms and Big Data applications, amongst others, now make a more sophisticated management platform a strategic imperative. Way to hang in there guys.
6) First cost will become an important analytical metric for data center operators as people finally figure out that $50-$100 million day one is a lot of money.
7) Customers will become more demanding. Providers will have to back up their claims with actual verification. In short, this will be the end of Tier III+.
8) “Real” companies will continue to enter the marketplace. Firms like IBM and Iron Mountain will begin to offer data center solutions that are differentiated by productization and specialization.
9) A major analyst firm will predict for the 10th consecutive year that the average kW per rack will be 50kW in the next two years. They will be proven wrong once again, but this will keep their paying IT hardware manufacturing customers happy.
10) Software Defined Data Centers will replace Big Data as the new “big thing” that everyone agrees they want but don’t know what it means.
So there you have them ladies and gentlemen. My fearless forecasts for ’14. As is the case with any predictions, some may or may not come true but I feel pretty solid about Jennifer and Kim.