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Mobile Computing and Driving Cloud Applications

How Cloud Computing is Driving Mobile Data Growth and a Next Generation of Data Center Strategies.

At the 2010 Techonomy Conference in Lake Tahoe, Eric Schmidt quoted a figure that most data professionals can relate to:

Every two days, there is as much ‘data’ produced globally as was produced from the dawn of civilization up to 2003 —  approximately five exabytes every 48 hours.

Certainly, the rapid growth in user-generated content is a major driver of the expansion. But, user-generated content is really a reflection of a bigger shift in the IT landscape that is being driven by changes in the way business interacts with customers in both B2B and B2C markets, and an attendant revolution in the tools that consumers and businesses use to interact with applications and data.

According to Gartner, data growth remains on the top of list of IT’s biggest challenges for 2011, with 47% of respondents to a summer 2010 survey of over 1,000 large enterprises citing data growth in their top three challenges. (i)  (N.B.  37% of listed system performance and scalability and 36% cited network congestion and connectivity issues.) Gartner’s research uncovered data growth rate between 40% and 60% y/y. For enterprise IT professionals this includes rapid expansion in unstructured data, such as e-mail and regulatory and compliance documents. But that is just part of the story.

In November 2009, technology writer Robert Cringely wrote:

“We’re in the middle of a huge platform shift in computing and most of us don’t even know it.  The transition is from desktop to mobile and is as real as earlier transitions from mainframes to minicomputers to personal computers to networked computers with graphical interfaces.”  (ii) 

According to ABI Research, quoted in IEEE Spectrum, monthly data transmission by mobile computing devices, including cellphones, tablets and portable computers, will increase 1400% by 2014, with the number of people subscribing to cloud-based applications increasing from 71 million to just under 1 billion in the same timeframe. (iii)  Cloud applications, in this case, are defined as applications that are delivered with data storage or processing power not primarily resident on the mobile device. The leading applications in this shift include consumer-friendly utility software (such as maps), but also business productivity tools (especially for sales, data sharing, and collaboration), rapidly growing social networking applications, and now-ubiquitous search functionality.

From consumers to business professionals, we are rapidly becoming addicted to real-time access of all forms of data. Rich-media (audio, video) garners the headlines, but today, we expect to log on to find order status, place new orders, make stock trades or bank deposits, explore real-time inventory, or review engineering designs — all through a growing array of mobile devices.

What does all this mean to data center professionals?

Mobile applications carry new demands on data types, access control and traffic management, especially in cloud architectures. In the cloud, network resources are consumed by virtual machines, and network management and monitoring must intelligently correlate virtual machine traffic with physical network components and resources. Rapidly increasing demand on transactional resources dictates completely new QoS approaches to bandwidth allocation and traffic shaping. And data resources must be dynamically provisioned and carefully mirrored to ensure durable performance under widely varying loads.

BRUNS-PAK Cloud Computing Programs

BRUNS-PAK engineers are acutely aware this dramatic evolution in the IT market.  Our cloud computing team helps clients:

  • Organize and document objectives
  • Understand data center implications for both private cloud deployment or public cloud integration
  • Plan for long-term optimized data center performance though load modeling for high-utilization, virtualized deployment architectures
  • Develop a data center deployment model that is adaptive to rapid growth in both network access and data volume and can respond to the need for capacity expansion on a rapid basis through either increased site utilization or modular expansion

For more information on our Cloud Computing capabilities and offerings, click here to access our Contact Us page and call or request information.

(i)  “Data Growth Remains IT’s Biggest Challenge, Gartner Says.”  Computerworld Online. November 2, 2010.

(ii)  Cringely, Robert X, “Pictures In Our Heads.” I, Cringely. 11/17/2009.

(iii) “Cloud Computing Drives Mobile Data Growth”.  IEEE Spectrum Online. October 2009

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