So now that the big ball has dropped and Ryan Seacrest has put away his tux for another 364 days—man, I miss Dick Clark—let us gird our loins for the onslaught of “industry predictions for 2013” that we will be seeing over the next few weeks. Let me begin by saying that I believe that in all cases these prognostications were solicited in some form or fashion by the journals, web sites, and research services that present them. I say this because no one would develop lists that are so banal and irrelevant to the average reader’s daily work routine without someone making them do it. Sure these folks are well meaning, but did that analyst’s prediction of the emergence of “the green cloud” last year really cause you to overhaul your entire data center strategy, or like me, giggle uncontrollably like a kid in church at the person who thought that “green cloud” meant something other than breaking wind? Let’s face it; Psychic Readings tend to be a little “dry” but stil have quite the chance to actually turn out accurate. If that whole Mayan end of the world thing proved anything it’s that a good prediction needs pizazz. Yeah, it turned out to be wrong but it did have people talking about it all year. A predicted slowdown in centralized infrastructure construction just doesn’t have the same kind of “legs”. With all this being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t look into my own Magic 8-Ball and enlighten you with my own assertions as to what we data center aficionados will see in the New Year.
Prediction One: “Big Data will continue to be big in 2013 and most people still won’t know what it means”
Anything that is prefaced by the adjective “Big” has just got to be well…big. Sometimes just a simple name change is all you need to catch a ride on the hype machine. Much like Norma Jean Baker became Marilyn Monroe, when data mining adopting the “BD” moniker it provided the cachet needed to become a staple on annual prediction lists for years to come. Thus, 2013’s savvy CIO will be wise to declare that the increase in this year’s budget is to support the company’s Big Data strategy. Much like the reaction to the “Emperor’s New Clothes”, this ploy will be greeted with studiously uninformed nods of approval.
Prediction Two: “A giant Internet company will implement a ridiculously expensive not really green, “green” initiative that no regular company would even consider”
Microsoft has certainly raised the bar on this one with last year’s announcement of their excrement efficient facility in Wyoming, but when these guys put their minds to it, no sacrifice at the altar of the Sierra Club is out of the question.
Prediction Three: “Detroit will emerge as a data center hub”
Big empty buildings with dormant power plants plus the newfound status as a right-to-work state make the Motor City the newest choice for the data center provider looking for a location for their next city-sized facility. In related news, Prineville, Oregon will become the new home for the Chevy Volt.
Prediction Four: “The data center industry will continue to see the adoption of standards in lieu of the “ish” approach.”
Fiction is great for the entertainment industry. For mission critical, not so much. For over a decade, service providers have gotten away with some form of the following conversation:
• Potential Customer: “What’s your tier level?”
• Service Provider: “Tier 3-ish”
With the new push towards third party certification of standards, the outrageous claims made by many service providers will subside. I will rue the day that I cannot hear about PUEs less than 1.0 anymore….
Prediction Five: “People actually figure out it is an anachronism to believe that fully commissioned data centers of phased build-outs exist.”
It’s just not possible. Then again, my wife is still successful in telling me that she saved money when she bought something….
Prediction Six: “This is the year where the number of cloud services providers explodes”
Really. I’m serious.
So there you have it folks, Crosby’s fearless forecast for 2013. How many of these predictions will come true is anybody’s guess. But hey, my weatherman still has a job too, and as the Mayans proved, accuracy isn’t exactly the appropriate standard of measurement.