Next Generation Data Center Architecture

Data breach protection

IT teams can more efficiently design services by using a software-defined platform independent from hardware. This approach avoids vendor lock-in and makes scaling and adapting workloads simpler.

Learn the game-changing, next generation data center fabric required by organizations to overcome legacy limitations and address security and performance concerns.

What Is a Next Generation Data Center?

An effective modern data center must possess intelligence, automation and flexibility in order to quickly meet business demands. This is only achievable through moving away from siloed environments towards software defined environments.

Key to this approach is having an integrated hardware-software management system, providing for seamless orchestration of applications and services across networks, storage platforms and computing platforms. This integration helps eliminate manual configuration changes while greatly simplifying management.

Next generation data centers must support continuous availability by stretching virtualization across multiple sites and clustering technologies to keep applications available at all times. Furthermore, next-gen data centers are designed to be flexible enough to adapt as business requirements change, which means organizations can respond faster and more cost-effectively to new opportunities that arise as business requirements shift while helping avoid vendor lock-in and dependency.

The Importance of a Next Generation Data Center

An approach to data center transformation that’s focused on business needs

With the IT landscape constantly shifting, organizations must be prepared to react swiftly. New opportunities cannot wait for hardware to be manually procured and configured before taking effect; rather, they require a flexible infrastructure that supports dynamic processes.

The next-generation data center meets this need by virtualizing hardware layers and providing a software-controlled architecture, enabling innovation to occur above the physical layers, breaking down silos between IT operations and development teams, as well as providing a more integrated management platform essential for service optimization and DevOps processes.

Next-gen data centers are engineered to maximize connectivity through high-density interconnect solutions that include cutting-edge switches. This ensures maximum connectivity by meeting massive bandwidth, IoT/Edge needs at the edge while still offering significantly higher performance than legacy solutions. Furthermore, such an architecture also takes advantage of automation and intelligence to deliver applications efficiently to their intended destinations at just the right time; eliminating bottlenecks of one physical data center location for processing needs while freeing resources up for deployment closer to where they’re required at the edge.

1. Greater flexibility

A 21st-century data center must have the ability to quickly respond to business opportunities that don’t wait for manual processes, with more efficient and flexible configurations of IT infrastructure and the capacity for swift workload transfers between on-premise and cloud environments.

IT organizations must also work towards eliminating siloed areas of expertise to create an integrated vision for their IT infrastructure as a whole. While some businesses have begun this journey by consolidating servers, implementing DCIM, or researching software defined hardware – they still haven’t reached an integrated and fully automated environment.

Expert systems offer a faster route to comprehensive integration than point solutions that automate only certain components. Expert systems can integrate and configure best practices across all infrastructure resources in an integrated, software defined environment – which ensures true interoperability without vendor lock-in, as well as making scaling up easier depending on business needs. Only this way can real-time IT service level commitments be met without incurring excessive costs; and ensure successful transformation to next-gen data center architectures.

2. Higher security

Since data center networking has expanded beyond connecting servers, switches and storage arrays directly, to become a service optimization platform, the need for improved security has grown dramatically. Next generation networks no longer focus solely on speed or hardware-centric metrics but instead utilize outcome-based metrics such as productivity, customer satisfaction and security to help businesses meet their goals more easily.

Edge data centers will enable ubiquitous IoT and 5G adoption by providing IT services closer to users’ locations, which will reduce latency and bandwidth requirements while simultaneously cutting costs by decreasing heating/cooling and electricity demands.

To achieve this goal, next-generation data center infrastructures will rely on expert integrated systems designed to automate best practices for software defined server, storage and network resources as well as cross-domain orchestration, pattern-driven automation and analytics for business needs more easily than before. These solutions also simplify management while helping IT focus more on business outcomes rather than hardware alone.

3. Better performance

Structured fiber cabling and server CPU innovations have reached new levels, pushing metrics such as latency and bandwidth far beyond today’s benchmarks. Furthermore, global ecosystems will eliminate the need to manually connect infrastructure components together using DCIM or converged infrastructure; pre-integrated, software defined architecture will simplify management while increasing scalability through orchestration, automation and policy-driven templates.

Efficiency will also increase; trends like immersion cooling and backup power/generation solutions will reduce energy consumption, while waste heat can be used as an effective strategy to offset cooling needs.

To maximize performance and availability, the next generation data center will employ fit-for-purpose analytics to continually assess workloads against available platforms. Critical applications will be assigned service tiers with higher levels of availability and support while less important applications may be shifted between tiers based on business value – thus lowering cost and risk while optimizing storage and power usage and avoiding unnecessary complexity. With this approach in place, organizations will be better positioned to capitalize on rapid developments within cloud, mobile, social and analytics technologies without waiting for new hardware procurement, installation or configuration – thus providing organizations an edge when taking advantage of rapid developments within these technologies without waiting for new hardware to arrive and be configured before capitalizing on rapidly emerging developments within these technologies allowing organizations to capitalize on rapid developments without waiting on new hardware being procured, installed and configured before capitalizing on rapid developments within these technologies before capitalizing or waiting on purchasing, installing and configuring it first allowing organizations utilizing rapid developments within these technologies without waiting until new hardware arrives and is set up before taking advantage of rapid developments within these technologies like cloud mobile social analytics technologies without waiting on hardware installation or configuration time delays from being waiting until after being used by corporations themselves as organizations get ahead accelerating changes are in effect due to faster than ever-before changes occur as quickly.

4. Lower costs

Cost of data center operations is one of the primary concerns of CIOs. With new workloads driving demand for constant availability, IT managers must meet business requirements while adhering to strict budgetary constraints and preventing inefficiencies from creeping in.

Next-gen data centers offer a solution. Utilizing automated technologies, software defined infrastructure, DCOS and SDDC technologies, next-generation data centers create highly scalable architecture without costly manual management costs.

Next-gen systems provide more effective performance. Their dynamic resource allocation and higher efficiency enable administrators to customize resources according to workload needs, thus reducing total system count in any environment, leading to reduced costs overall.

An effective, next-generation data center requires an integrated platform above its hardware. Expert systems offer unifying management of server, storage and network infrastructure – simplifying deployment while eliminating vendor lock-in and ensuring best practices are put into effect immediately. Adding these expert systems frees IT professionals up from time-consuming manual support tasks so they can focus on value-creating activities more directly.

5. Infrastructure Optimization

People often imagine data centers as warehouse-style environments where servers are connected by mazes of cables, but modern data centers focus on loosely coupled architecture with continuous availability and scalability through software-controlled functions rather than physical configurations.

Automation and integration between applications, services and infrastructure resources allow organizations to reduce manual upkeep while improving management efficiency. In addition, this enables seamless assimilation of emerging technologies without fear of vendor lock-in.

Organizations seeking to accelerate their transition into next generation data centers find expert systems to be the perfect way of speeding up this transformation process. By design, these solutions provide fully integrated server, storage and network resources with best practices already automated for server, storage and network resources out-of-the-box while also enabling companies to customize these resources according to specific workloads and needs. By centralizing all management capabilities on one platform, they help eliminate traditional IT silo roles while freeing specialists up to focus on more critical business needs. This opens up opportunities for innovation above hardware; speeding application development and delivery while increasing service levels; as well as providing hybrid environments to support mobile and cloud apps.

6. Software Defined Infrastructure

Data center hardware infrastructures are increasingly moving toward software-defined environments. Software defined infrastructure (SDI) enables virtualized management of compute, networking and storage services via an IT services management platform that makes infrastructure management simpler while eliminating platform silos in the data center.

Prior to SDI, admins needed to manually provide resources for each application – often leading to mistakes and oversights. IT teams had to manage each piece of hardware separately – creating an inefficient and costly architecture. Now with SDI, IT can use one platform to monitor, update and configure services.

IT infrastructure management using software-defined networking enables IT to quickly modify hardware or software without disturbing customers, increasing agility and accelerating time-to-market for new products, while making scaling easier and improving efficiency. A software-driven approach also lowers maintenance and upgrade costs and makes requesting new services simpler for business stakeholders.

At Element Critical, we take an innovative approach to data center architecture. Our just-in-time modular design and build strategies put an emphasis on operating efficiency.

Fit-for-purpose analytics and business criticality evaluations help organizations map workloads onto platforms with optimal capabilities faster and at reduced costs and risks.

APIs facilitate delivery model interaction while outcome-based metrics replace traditional CPU, memory and disk utilization metrics.

Employing New Technologies

Traditional data centers were composed of rows of servers arranged like spaghetti bowls with cables running all around. Now thanks to new generation technologies that enable data center managers to logically allocate resources based on workloads while managing hardware with greater agility, this arrangement no longer holds.

These solutions include software defined architectures, pattern-driven automation and cross-domain integration and orchestration to help organizations transform their IT infrastructure from static hardware-centric designs into an agile structure that can meet evolving business requirements.

IBM’s fit-for-purpose analytics continually assess workload and processing requirements against available platforms, facilitating faster mapping of workloads to their optimal platforms and thus reducing costs, risks, power consumption while simultaneously increasing performance and availability.

Technology advancements also allow data center operatorss to operate more sustainably by decreasing energy use and cooling needs. Many leading providers now rely on solar power and heat extraction techniques that direct excess heat away from the facility into nearby homes and businesses for use, thus cutting energy and cooling costs while simultaneously lowering carbon emissions. Water-source heat pumps also reclaim heat from within their system for further energy savings; such innovations are essential to next-generation data centers that must compete against cloud, mobility, big data, social business workloads that demand fast response times from their infrastructures.

Next Generation vs. Traditional Data Center

Traditional data centers feature rows upon rows of servers stacked into an inconvenient spaghetti bowl with cables running all around it. A next-generation data center, however, utilizes software-defined infrastructure which automates IT resources based on workload – this allows IT staff to move away from making hardware decisions manually while providing more responsive service management.

The next generation data center aims to create an IT environment that is more dynamic and can respond immediately to business requirements, increasing availability and lowering costs simultaneously. To accomplish this goal, patterns of expertise, pattern-driven automation, cross-domain integration/automation focused around workloads and applications and siloed expertise/operational barriers must be broken down to accelerate innovation deployment and shorten timelines.

Next-generation data centers feature enhanced security features designed to counteract cyber criminals. Furthermore, their energy costs may also be reduced thanks to data from facilities systems which automatically adjust power and cooling capacity according to workload demand – for example when server numbers increase, thermal behavior analysis can predict how much cooling they require so the system can adapt power/cooling capacities before issues arise.

Benefits of next generation data center

The next-generation data center offers numerous benefits that traditional architecture cannot. For instance, its virtualization and abstraction through software enable dynamic management of resources according to real-time workload needs. Furthermore, eliminating physical server management allows servers, switches, and storage systems to be managed through one centralized platform for faster response times, increased security measures, and greater data protection.

Next-generation data centers provide organizations with another advantage by providing flexible service tiers based on workload requirements. This enables them to limit costs by only paying for what they need in terms of availability and support, while still enjoying high reliability levels. It also makes use of cutting-edge technologies like containers and cloud services easier without investing in costly new hardware purchases.

The next-generation data center allows organizations to improve efficiency by reducing power and cooling requirements, using extendable cabling, intelligent load balancing, automated workflow orchestration and selling excess energy back into the grid. Finally, robust platforms such as Atlantis USX for storage, VMware NSX for networking and Juniper Firefly security provide better control of dispersed hardware elements for greater flexibility.


With mobile, social business and big data workloads increasing demands for greater scalability, continuous availability and real-time responsiveness of data centers, old paradigms must evolve to address new requirements of scaleability, availability and real-time responsiveness. A more flexible infrastructure that facilitates rapid integration of emerging technologies is required in a modern data center environment.

The new data center also features a diverse control layer to address all of the systems housed within each facility, using management consoles with API integration for improved big data handling, manipulation, clout, cloud scaling and multi-tenancy as well as various delivery models by enabling IT administrators to create cloud outputs compatible with specific hardware platforms.

Finally, the next-generation data center will use ITIL-based service management and outcome-based metrics as its foundation to guide IT decision making, to ensure IT investments meet or surpass business needs while simultaneously controlling IT costs.

This will transform static IT infrastructures into dynamic workload-aware environments, enabling IT administrators to predict performance requirements and adjust infrastructure according to real-time workload demands. Furthermore, IT could shift workloads between platforms more cost effectively while decreasing risk by shifting less important workloads down lower-tier service tiers that provide less availability and support.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.