worldwide will surpass 80 million by 2013. As a result of this explosive growth, staffing costs on systems maintenance have risen 600% to over $120 billion annually, and the
cost to power and cool installed servers has more than tripled from $2 billion to $10 billion per year.
Aging Datacenter Facilities Hamper Future Growth
The average age of a datacenter in the United States is 12 years, meaning that the typical datacenter was not built to support today's sprawling systems environment and high server densities. Power and cooling has become the number 1 operational problem for the datacenter and is the primary factor limiting most datacenter growth.
While IT organizations have been able to and cooling equipment and deploying
adapt by introducing supplemental energy management techniques ,
strategies increase the burden on management overhead and can require significant integration investments. Further, with many organizations' datacenters operating at or near their capacity, their ability to rapidly scale to adapt to new organizational demands with in-house IT infrastructure is limited.
Time to Market
Supporting a large physical server infrastructure can also hinder IT's ability to move rapidly to support changing business requirements. The time required to build, test, and fix servers and deploy them into a production environment can take weeks or even months depending on the processes and constraints of the organization. In the past, this may have been sufficient lead time for most organizations' application deployments, but as the pace of business continues to increase, enterprises require ways to speed the time to deploy servers from weeks or months to days or even hours. Entrusting their application infrastructure to a cloud provider, organizations can ensure that their infrastructure works out of the gate and can rapidly spin up new capacity, without going through the time required to roll out new server deployments.
Drivers of Cloud Computing
To address these challenges, organizations are turning to cloud computing, both public and private. Cloud computing builds off the best practices of the past decade and allows organizations to obtain compute resources as a shared, standard service, usually with elastic scaling, use-based pricing, and user interface (UI) technologies accessible via standard, published APIs. The promise of cloud computing is that it can drive higher levels of automation, orchestration, provisioning, and deployment.
Cloud computing also addresses one of the key economic challenges of server infrastructures: administrator management. By significantly reducing the human element in the management of the infrastructure and application layer, organizations can scale out their infrastructure without having to scale IT staff. By automating many of the manual tasks that are performed by administrators today, organizations can maintain their server infrastructure with their existing IT staff while continuing to grow their application portfolio. Finally, because computing activities in the cloud can be quickly scaled up and down, cloud computing delivers an infrastructure that can more
flexibly adapt to changing business requirements.