Government datacenters undergoing radical change

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 18, 2012

data center govDatacenters in the government sectors are undergoing a major transition worldwide, according to a recent report by IDC Government Insights that released a new report titled: “Technology Selection: The Government Datacenter of the Future.” The report noted that the transition is mainly due to the rapid emergence of several key IT disrupters, ranging from growth of mobile devices to the rise of quality cloud services.

According to the IDC report, datacenter buildings are increasingly migrating toward locations where real estate prices and the costs of electricity are lower, and they will continue to be designed to maximise passive cooling and heating.

In order to navigate this change, IDC recommends government CIOs and IT managers to examine the current state of government IT infrastructure and trends and measure how these can influence the long-term design and functionality of future government IT facilities.

“Changes are very iterative and they can take years to unfold, depending on the budgets and preferences of individual agencies. But the long term trends are highly apparent, and IT managers are advised to familiarise themselves with how datacenters are evolving, in order to take advantage of important new resources,” said Shawn McCarthy, Research Director, IDC Government Insights.

According to McCarthy, government datacentres, and the agencies they serve, will face a series of important IT decisions over the next two years. Today, agencies are reacting to their own internal budget limits and IT needs, prompting many to look for cloud-based solutions that will allow them to stop providing some types of IT services such as email, storage and backup and get these from cloud providers instead.

Multiple influences are prompting government agencies to rethink how they are structuring their data services and the associated facilities they use to host their IT solutions. As a result, government agencies are migrating from a single-stack, siloed approach to more integrated shared services. In fact, in the United States, IDC expects spending on public cloud services to increase at a CAGR of 18.5 percent through 2016, which is about four times faster than direct spending on IT infrastructure hardware and software.

Going forward, IDC noted there will be fewer dedicated datacentres, but the remaining facilities will be quite large, serving multiple customers. It observed that hardware will be increasingly rack based, hot-swappable, progressively powerful and standardised, and designed to support heavily virtualised software and the software solutions will consolidate around specific business functions, with organisations making those functions available as hundreds of discreet services that can be tapped into, multiple applications and agencies through cloud.

“The end result of all of these changes is that the government datacentres are entering a period of radical change,” summed up McCarthy.