Gazing Into The Crystal Ball: The Mobile-Defined Data Center

By Mark Sullivan | September 3, 2014

Today I wanted to take a moment to share a fascinating article from Wired Magazine that I read a couple of weeks back. In the article “The Data Centers of Tomorrow Will Use the Same Tech Our Phones Do,” Peter Levine takes a look at how the technology advances seen in the mobile industry will one day change how data centers themselves run.

In the piece, he discusses how mobile device components and technology have gotten smaller and at the same time can operate at even higher temperatures – meaning that one day we may see “…a bunch of dirt cheap, cell-phone-like machines—all connected together with sophisticated software—instead of those power-sucking, refrigerator-sized boxes.”

Very interesting prediction – and one that absolutely merits watching. That said, the idea of mobile technology powering a data center is still a very far way off. There are definitely design cues that hardware manufacturers can take away from this – for example, power consumption is an issue that deserves some real innovative thinking.

But to be used in a data center, there will need to be advances in storage, performance and security – just to meet the needs and expectations of current companies.

Those storing their critical data and information in a data center are doing so to protect that information from potential malicious attack or disaster. They are putting their faith and oftentimes their entire business in a controlled environment that they can draw from, adjust, add to or subtract from based on the needs of their businesses.

Compliance is another reason that companies seek out secure data centers like the Markley Group, where companies can have their own dedicated area that they manage in line with the industry regulations they’re subject to. Any mobile device-based solution will need to take these data center options into consideration.

Moore’s Law will also need to continue being relevant, as technology would need to keep shrinking while increasing power and efficiency; these smaller mobile-based machines will need to be able to keep up with the massive (and increasing) amounts of data being collected and analyzed by companies. Big Data is not getting smaller any time soon.

The principals of mobile device technology may make it into the data center one day – but there are a lot of technology iterations that need to happen in between now and then.

Keep watching (and supporting) innovative thinking like this – but don’t worry about making plans for a changeover any time soon.