Mention the data center and, to most, images of machine rooms filled to the brim with equipment and the sounds of IT whirring away are what come to mind. For decades, businesses have equipped data centers with silo upon silo of servers, applications, networking, and storage in their insatiable quest to deliver business insight to line-of-business (LOB) leaders, their management, and the C-suite. Even the name data center was given based on the theory that most business-critical data would be found there, centralized, and ready for the business to derive competitive insights to bolster its marketplace advantage.
However, the data center, as we have traditionally known it, often falls short in its mission to deliver business advantage. The premise is sound, but the execution has been limited by the technology at hand. For many, the problem is the data center is not a centralized repository of data; rather it is a centralized collection of applications, each with its dedicated compute and storage resources (physical or virtual, it doesn’t matter), surrounded by edge computing facilities driven by LOB concerns.