By Clement Goh
THE Asia Pacific data center markets have enjoyed a year of robust growth in 2016 and 2017 is poised to be yet another season of data-driven acceleration. In Singapore, the co-location market is set to enjoy a 9 percent year-to-year growth over the next year, reaching a massing S$1.56 billion by 2020 .
In line with this growth, new data stimulants of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) technology will begin to engage more together and demand of sectors like e-commerce are set to take us to new data consumption highs in 2017. As an expert in data center and colocation services, Equinix has highlighted five key predictions to note of for the coming year:
The Year of Multi-Cloud Convergence and Implementation
2017 will be the tipping point as we expect to see cloud adoption maturing to an advanced stage where enterprises will increasingly rely more on cloud infrastructures. Multi-cloud deployments will emerge as the way forward across the enterprise as data, applications, infrastructure and personal clouds will fundamentally change the way people and businesses operate.
As a result, the combination of best-of-breed solutions and services from different cloud providers will tackle vendor lock-in and flexibility issues at the same time. Additionally, cloud strategies will need to be more holistic to position business infrastructures to support digital transformation.
The Rise of the Digital Edge
The digital edge – where the physical and virtual worlds meet, will fuel the need to enable real-time, on-demand insights powered by data explosion, rich content forms and changing user expectations. In a 2015 Gartner Edge Manifesto , the topology of networked data centers will push over the next five years from a centralized, mega data center approach, to one augmented by multiple, smaller, distributed sources located in enterprise-owned data centers, colocation or the cloud.
We expect that this will be a key approach in 2017 as business models will be disrupted, forcing changes in how enterprise processes operate in a digital business. The convergence of multiple clouds will also call for a natural extension of the corporate boundaries for today’s digital businesses to the edge – where users and data reside. This will be important as businesses will need to manage when and how they engage in real time to capture the moments with customers through SMAC technologies (social, mobile, analytics and cloud).
Rise of the Interconnected Fabric
As companies move to connect their digital and physical worlds to support business around the globe and enterprises leverage multiple clouds, it will be challenging to manage solutions across different cloud environments from different vendors. If a management structure is not in place early, these operational issues could start stacking up at a rapid speed leading to severe issues impacting service delivery at the digital edge.
To prevent this, more enterprises will deploy in an interconnected fabric – residing in carrier neutral facilities to create a central nervous system that connects all aspects of the digital business and activities. This will facilitate the shift from a system-centric to user-centric approach, while the public Internet will add to the security and latency issues imposed by the challenges connecting various elements between the user and the cloud.
Security becomes more vital
The changing paradigm of security will spur innovation with new features and solutions developed to provide stronger security and confidence for those within the multi-cloud space. Direct connect services for example, will help to establish private network connections that bypass the public Internet.
However, as hybrid cloud becomes more popular, customers will realize that it does not provide all encompassing security solutions – only securing the cloud infrastructure and customers will have to own the security of their applications and data within the multi-cloud environment. In this case, the interconnected fabric will provide customers with the choice of moving from point security solutions to the flexibility of buying Security-as-a-Service with benefits such as speed of implementation, ease of set-up and maintenance, real-time protection.
Age of Interconnected Commerce
According to our study: Interconnected Commerce: A Revolution in Value Creation, the universe of interconnected commerce and payments providers will create new opportunities for the integration of payments, commerce, data, and marketing, enabling new solutions and partnerships around the globe.
However, while the potential of interconnected commerce is powerful, without a central hub to manage the network, the result would be chaos. The right central hub and standard protocols could create a world-changing network of commerce enablement that, linked with the payments infrastructure, could redefine global commerce for the 21st century.
Clement Goh is the Managing Director of Equinix in South Asia.