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Your 2018 data center outlook: the edge, the cloud and security

January 15, 2017

Your 2018 data center outlook: the edge, the cloud and security

The 2018 data center forecast calls for shifts in the way the cloud is leveraged, with an emphasis on security.

The cloud and the edge

To build a cloud-like data center that’s scalable, cost-effective and flexible greatly depends on custom scale-out architectures to address each of your customers’ networks, compute and storage needs. Factors include:

  • IoT/sensor data volume for collection and analysis
  • Processing power required to the device level
  • The need for real-time data and decision making
  • Existing physical and skill assets that support your customer’s data center needs

Andrew Schmidt, Ingram Micro senior Solution Center engineer, says that the edge will play a greater role in certain types of data center architectures. “The edge involves using on-premises hyperconverged systems at remote locations to bolster the performance of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments,” says Schmidt. “The concentration of multisite users at the edge changes the data center management model. That information needs to be part of your customer conversations.” He adds that the cloud plays a role, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Your services at work 

Schmidt also notes that assessments and design are part of your line card to best support your customers’ needs. “Our partners bring value to the table by identifying needs and designing the right solutions. Don’t be afraid, when your customers say they want to ride the hottest, latest data trend to ask ‘Are you sure?’ It’s about being the trusted advisor and embedding yourself in the relationships.”

Security in the enterprise data center

Your customers want to stay out of the data breach headlines. With the increasing frequency of cybersecurity attacks, ransomware, phishing and other zero-day threats, Patrick Smith, Ingram Micro technology consultant, says that security is a requirement in 2018—from protecting virtual machines and servers, to intrusion detection and practicing good data hygiene.

Data loss prevention, whether it’s the unintentional or intentional release of sensitive information, is paramount. “The leading reason why enterprises fail compliance audits is that they don’t have the proper security information and event management (SIEM) tools in place,” says Smith. “SIEM helps you gather logs from all of your data center security devices to provide you with relevant and actionable information.”

He recommends referring to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework, which helps businesses address and meet industry compliance so they can protect sensitive information and meet industry compliance requirements.

Finally, Smith recommends taking a multilayered approach to security, including:

  • Firewall and intrusion detection (protect those virtual machines)
  • Practice good data hygiene at the endpoints
  • Train employees to spot and report phishing attacks
  • Use email and web gateways to protect the perimeter

More reading on these trends