At the heart of most modern IT infrastructures is a data center, something which Cade Girod, TD SYNNEX Product Business Manager for Cisco Data Center, believes many people may misunderstand. “Most people think of data centers as large towers of storage, blades, switches, and racks all in a large, cold storage room,” Girod told EDGE360 Online, “but really that image is just the tip of the iceberg.”
According to Girod, the modern data center has evolved just as much as the rest of the IT channel as new software solutions, computing processes, and cloud infrastructures came online. In fact, “the trajectory of data centers is now aligned with the focus on optimization present throughout the channel.”
Optimization is at the heart of many of the industry’s movements today, thanks in large part to the changes that the cloud has brought. “While a modern data center hasn’t changed all that much, if you dig deeper there are tons of apps, storage, public and private clouds, all of which need to be accessed,” Girod continued. “The data center is the brain of the organization, and that role has taken on even more importance now and will continue to become more important as time goes on.”
Among the many changes, Girod sees four major areas that will impact the data center of the future. Chief among them is that storage and computing power are becoming more and more powerful as time goes on. “The physical structures, servers, and even storage capacities will continue to be pushed to the limit by the software they are running,” Girod said.
Second, and as a result of number one, Girod sees ample opportunity for major advancements in cooling technology. “It’s a well-known fact that server rooms run hot, will increase the computing power, and that temperature just keeps going up,” Girod said. “You can’t run a server room hot, or else you run the risk of melting everything.” The evolution Girod sees as the answer to this challenge is the use of liquid cooling solutions that can work in conjunction with traditional fans to bring down the heat.
Third, is the increased utilization of management software to better utilize storage and applications. “What we see, and what we’re excited to see become more commonplace, is the usage of management software by IT teams to push out updates and patches for whole organizations,” Girod said. With entire companies operating in the same data center, the ability for all devices under its management to receive security or accessibility updates in unison would create a more secure and efficient system.
Finally, Girod hopes that all these changes will free up IT staff to focus on other tasks instead of chasing optimization goals. “When an IT team can spend its time and resources on an actual project and not on optimization or bug fixing, it can really benefit a company over the long run,” Girod said.
While Girod sees all four trends working in tandem with each other, he goes a step further noting that each will ultimately lead to a need for a specialized data center ecosystem. “As I said earlier, the data center is the brain of the organization, if they are not running smoothly, organizations will simply not be able to operate,” Girod noted. This inability to function would happen regardless of whether an organization was in the cloud, hybrid, or on-prem. Girod continued by saying, “No matter the IT environment, if you don’t have the knowledge or understanding to run a data center, you are dead in the water.” That is where Cisco Data Center Specialization can help.
“Being able to work on and offer advanced specialization to organizations is critical today and will only become more critical tomorrow,” Girod said. Programs like Cisco Data Specialization can help VARs and partners gain an understanding of how to install servers, racks, storage, blades, and so much more. “Beyond the basics, we can help partners stand up applications, run and install software, create and maintain networks, and optimize storage solutions.” Girod said this will be crucial to “validate customers’ concerns and needs into the future.”
“There are many ways to get ahead of the specialization trend,” Girod said, “however, I think what we do at TD SYNNEX is one of the best programs.” Utilizing partnerships with Nterone as well as Cisco MINT, TD SYNNEX provides monthly webinars that can help guide partners through the process of getting their CCNP or CCIE. Additionally, TD SYNNEX offers an EDGE Focus Tool that helps partners manage education resources and track specializations or certifications.
“If you are a partner who is getting questions from customers about data centers, this is a major opportunity for you to grow your business. I highly encourage anyone reading this to find out the benefits of Cisco data center specialization, and if it’s something you want to do, my team and I are more than happy to talk through the process with you,” Girod concluded.
To learn more about the many ways to utilize Cisco Data Center Specialization to bolster business in the IT Channel, click here.