November 5, 2018

What Does the NextGen Data Center Look Like?

At this year’s Arrow Technology Summit, industry leaders from Arrow, Oracle and VMware participated in a panel discussion entitled, “NextGen Data Center Opportunities: Fact or Fiction.” Key topics included data center transformation, the role of blockchain and the importance of cyber hygiene. Adam Catbagan, Arrow technology leader, led the discussion.

Panelists felt that the next-generation data center will be a hybrid of the traditional four walls and public cloud. They agreed that the data center is not going away any time soon, but changes will begin to occur. Will Payne, senior director of SLED for VMware’s Networking and Security business unit, feels that a critical piece is having security and networking policies that span data centers. “The applications need to live where it makes the most sense for the business without compromising security and the end-user experience,” Payne said.

“The first thing that IT shops should do is to stop doing what they are doing right now,” stated Matthew O’Keefe, vice president and corporate technology at Oracle. “What they are currently doing isn’t working.”

Is There a Blockchain Play in the Data Center?
A blockchain is an append-only transaction ledger. It can be written onto with new information, but the previous information that is stored in blocks, can’t be edited, adjusted or changed. The advantage to a public blockchain is that the information can’t be changed after it is logged. It becomes a permanent record; and, because the ledger is held by many entities, it is nearly impossible to hack.

Payne thinks agencies who have a lot of personal data are looking at blockchain to improve their security and it is a good business opportunity. “Every major state government is looking at blockchain as a way to solve some of their security problems,” Payne said.

Other discussions centered around where blockchain should be located – whether in the cloud or kept private.

What Can Managed Service Providers Provide?
The panelists thought resellers should think about becoming managed service providers that can offer many services to IT. Resellers can put solutions together and offer a great deal of value that can positively impact the business and allow their IT customer to respond quickly to their end-users. An MSP has the ability to offer best-of-breed solutions and different types of cloud for specific services without vendor lock-in. “You are really delivering IT capabilities to your IT customers,” said O’Keefe.

Ensure the Good Rather Than Chase the Bad
“What we have been doing historically isn’t working. We have breaches every day that keep getting larger,” Payne said. “One of the main flaws in security is not adhering to cyber hygiene,” he added.

Cyber hygiene includes activities system administrators and end-users can do to improve their cyber security while they are online. System administrators can be sure they are segmenting networks, enforcing user permissions and password rules, updating antivirus and span software, and making sure firmware and software patches are current. End-users can help by using strong passwords, avoid using unauthorized BYOD, and stop mixing personal email with cyber secure email or other work documents.

What Does the NextGen Data Center Look Like?

O’Keefe feels the cloud is much more secure than on-premises. “Hyperscale providers have thousands of the best security professionals working in automated, standardized environments. They can leverage all of their expertise across all the standard infrastructure,” O’Keefe explained.

What’s Next for Data Centers?
Data centers will need to change to remain relevant to their business. There are many new technologies that are having an impact on IT departments across the globe. View the entire panel discussion on the next-generation data center here.

You can access all the other video and audio recordings of the Arrow Tech Summit general sessions here where you will hear panelists and keynote speakers address today’s cutting-edge topics.