CIO: How Cloud Computing Is Forcing IT Evolution

March 2nd, 2012

I had the privilege of chairing the infrastructure track at last week's Cloud Connect conference. Three of the presentations were particularly interesting, offering a good perspective on just how dramatic an effect cloud computing is having on IT. Summed up, the capability and agility of cloud computing is forcing an extremely rapid evolution.

In a sense, these effects are akin to what would happen to an established living ecosystem were significant change to occur within. One could expect to see existing species be stressed by the development of new characteristics in the ecosystem, forcing them to adapt rapidly to survive. Those that fail to adapt will, inevitably, dwindle into extinction.

Cloud Allows for Data Center Scale Two of the presentations at the Cloud Connect conference addressed how organizations are transforming data centers as a result of the need for scale and density. Ron Vokoun, a construction executive with Mortenson Construction, a company that builds data centers, began by noting that the projects his firm is taking on are quickly shifting toward larger data centers. Mortenson is seeing small and medium-size enterprises leaving the business of owning and operating data centers, preferring to leverage collocated and cloud environments, leaving the responsibility for managing the facility to some other entity. The typical project size his firm sees has doubled or quadrupled, with 20,000 square feet the typical minimum.

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