Key Trends for Data Centers Transformation in 2011 – Next-Gen Data Centers

Times are changing and IT is leading the transformation:

datacenter_next gen IT organizations, are pressurized between improved performances expectations, growing data and network bandwidth, cost reduction targets, converged architectures and technology innovations. As a results all large enterprises and SMB have a common short term objective to transform their data center to become a `Next-Gen Data Center. For this there are some key steps to take and here are some major trends we can predict to achieve this transformation in 2011 and beyond:

More performant, cost effective, energy efficient hardware platforms:data-center-costs

 From the silicon semi-conductor & processors, to the servers, to the data storage, to the networking switches, to the rack or data center cooling systems, at all level some very competitive and innovative offerings are coming to market from major vendors as well as start-ups with more performance, cheaper price, and more specially more energy efficient hardware platforms, helping to reduce the cost of acquisition (Capex) and of operating (OPEX) a data center.


data center consolidationServers & Data Centers Consolidation simplify IT workload and the management of complex IT infrastructure, optimize floor space, power and cooling, and staffing while providing required flexibility to rapidly adapt to changing business needs. Combining multiple data centers into a single facility is a primary strategy for cutting costs while improving service levels.


Virtualization: server-virtualization-storage

With the economic recovery, Industry Analysts predicts an increase on IT spending in 2011,and we can predict that much of the data center transformation spending will be around virtualization. Virtualization of servers, storage, networks and applications will provide many benefits including cost savings and consolidation, energy consumption reduction, as well as the flexibility to meet new business requirements.

Cloud Computing:

cloud-computingThe Hype is over, mature and competitive offerings are available from serious vendors and providers, market acceptance is growing and SMB as well as major enterprises will be starting to deploy cloud platforms and leverage cloud architecture and services for some critical Web 2.0 applications in what some people call a “Data Center without Walls”.


Modular design: data_center_design

To reduce the cost and time to build a data center and to reduce the space required, a shift will operate to standard modular data center designs, instead of traditional floor-raised design, specifically built for each customer.

Key Performance Indicators:

data-center-best-practicesPerformance measurements and metrics will be more important, KPI will be developed and adopted to better measure performance, capacity planning, change control processes, system utilization, efficiency, energy consumption, and sustainability, moving to the Green Data Center vision, using renewable energy.



In summary, green data centers

Energy Efficiency, Cost Reduction, and Flexibility are the Key words for 2011 and the design and operations management of next-gen data center tends toward these requirements. Data Center transformation will be achieved through next-gen energy efficient hardware platforms, consolidation, virtualization, cloud computing, green initiatives, modular designs and best measurement practices, to enable organizations to quickly and cost effectively respond to market demands and new revenue opportunities.

Are you ready to lead  the transformation to next-gen data center ?


11 New Technologies to impact our lives in 2011

welcome to the futureIn this first week end of a new year, just like making new resolutions on new year day, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight new technologies or innovations that will go to market or will get market acceptance in the next 12 months and will have a significant impact on the way we live, therefore here is a list of 11 new technologies to change our life in 2011:

1. 4G wireless technology: Succeeding to 2G & 3G, this fourth generation of cellular wireless standards offer speed at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (in planes, trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (walking or seating users). And provides secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution to smart-phones, laptops & any other mobile devices. Current Mobile-WiMAX and LTE as marketed by carriers as Verizon Wireless or Sprint may not fulfill all of the 4G requirements but still will provide fantastic improvement in speed and quality required for new rich content in mobile communications (3D video and 3D games as an example).

2. Mobile 3-D: In 2011 several smart phones manufacturers as LG, Samsung, Nokia,best phone MasterImage 3D etc, will introduce 3D mobile phones and tablets, and here is the best part this is 3D technology WITHOUT GLASSSES – Market adoption will be very quick for 3D glass-free mobile devices.. (I want one for my next Christmas!)

3. 3D TVs and Game Consoles: we can already find 3D TV and Game Consoles today, but in 2011 with more 3D broadcast programs, DVD and games, more competition and cheaper prices, market adoption will come and these devices will invade our homes. Unfortunately we will have to wait few more years to watch glass-free 3D TV in our living room.

gest recognition4. Gesture recognition for hands-free devices: interprets human gestures from faces or hands via mathematical algorithms to interface with the machine (Human Machine Interface) and interact naturally with a computer or machine without any mechanical devices, replacing traditional mouses, keyboards, touch-screens, game controllers and remote controls. To me this technology means FREEDOM.

5. Augmented Reality: this technology enable live view of a physical real-world augmented_realityenvironment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated sensory input such as sound, text, graphics or video to modify and enhance your perception of reality, by combining real and virtual elements, real time interactive functions and 3D technologies in devices as TV, computer screens, tablets, smart phones, touch screens kiosks, head displays in cars or planes, display in your glasses etc…and even retinal displays (Yes retinal !)

6. Text-to-Speech/Speech-to-Text: Technologies to convert text into MP3, WAV or VOX are already there, as well as Speech-Recognition has been there for some time but it is now reliable and will become common in 2011 and many of us will use it in many ways: listen to your emails and voice message while driving, send email and text message or instant message while driving, read (listen) an eBook, surf and read web pages etc.

hearing7. Real-time translation: By combining voice recognition, language text translation & text-to-speech technologies into a unified voice-to-voice translator system, this technology converts in real-time one language into another quickly enough to allow 2 speakers without a common language to communicate in real time. Which mean I can discuss over my cell phone with a customer, me being in Toronto speaking French, and him being in ShangHai speaking Chinese, the system will translate in real time, and we will understand each-other. Come to see me next month in the IBM stand at GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and I will show you a demo.

8. Radar technology in automobiles with front and rear detection to avoid collisions,audi radar adapt cruise control, monitor blind spot, line change detection and parking assistance. The technology is already there on high end luxury cars but it 2011 it will be included in a wider range of cheaper cars. That’s a short term step, but in the future this technology will take us to the driverless cars on highways.

mobile health9. Mobile Healthcare: after tele-healthcare, there is a now a series of new m-Health hardware and software solutions ready to go to market, and mHealth Regulatory Coalition, an industry group comprised of mobile health and IT companies, is working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eventually regulate mobile healthcare hardware and software. Those new technologies and solution will improve our life by receiving diagnostic and treatments (including life threatening urgencies) more quickly and more comfortably, remotely in our home or on the move.

10. Mobile Shopping/Mobile Banking: I have been writing on this topics techn on this blog so I encourage to read it as this will definitively change the way we shop and the way we pay for our purchases and manage our finances in our daily life. “In Store Mobile Shopping will change the way we shop”.

11. The year of the tablets: Apple created the market for tablets by launching its iPad, there were tablets available for quite some time but nobody would buy it before, that is Steve Jobs/Apple’s Magic again at creating new markets. A lot of new tablets are now coming to market from several vendors (RIM, HP, Dell, Google, Sony, Motorola, Samsung etc) in different shapes and size and running different mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, Palm OS, Symbian, Microsoft), over 50Million tablets are expected to be sold in 2010, Apple remaining dominant, followed by RIM, Sony, Google, HP and others…(I want one for my Birthday !!!)

Bonus: Last but not least, as a Green bonus, I had to choose one among all the new Green technologies that will penetrate the market in 2011, here come the Electric Cars, with Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, or Neiborough Electric Vehicules (NEV) as the GEM, Dynasty, ZENN and as GM EN-V personal vehicule or many others ones finally available at your dealership. Still a hype but a radical turn for the future of the auto-industry, slowly but definitively moving to electric. Accelleration of adoption will come with new battery technologies in the work, and building of the infrastructure. In any case in 2011 most of us (Governments, Industries, Companies, Individuals) will demonstrate more Green conscience, saving on energy, whatever fuel, gaz or electricity, and so many green technologies and energy efficient devices, or recyclable materials will invade the market, visible or not, to help us reduce the damage on our planet. (Do you know that a Canadian company, Motive Industries, is building an electric car with Cannabis or hemp, replacing all plastic and carbon fibre parts including its body? Name of the car is Kestrel, look for it! Watch this video)

Do not be surprised if many of these technologies or innovations are relevant to the telecom or mobile communications field, that is because we are entering an age where everything is getting interconnected through wireless networks and through the internet (and because it is one of my areas of expertise), embedded hardware and software making these devices more intelligent and our planet smarter.

Few years from now we may have chips embedded in our body! But be reassured not in 2011 yet…

I have not been selecting social networks and social media because it has already project_natalgrown so much, Facebook growing from 500 to 650 million users in the last few months of 2010, and all major companies using it as a marketing tool, being sufficient proofs.

There is of course many others technologies and innovations, like nanotechnologies in the medical field just to name one, that will also change and improve our lives, and you are more than welcome to add some of yours to this blog.

Happy New Year 2011.

5- We Need Smarter and Greener Telecommunications Networks

You probably know that the electricity used to power all computing Data Centers in the world generate more CO2 emissions than the Air Transportation industry, despite all these planes burning huge quantities of  jet-fuel in our skies!     

Green Telecom Network Capex, World Markets, 2009-2014


 Therefore reducing data center power usage is one of the strategic focus of any CIO or Data Center manager, as well as for all computers, servers, storage vendors, not just for the satisfaction of being  Green but also and first to reduce operating cost as power is one of the major cost of operating a Data Center.     

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) & Operators have a double challenge as they also need to reduce the power consumption of their Network Operation Center (NOC), especially now that fixed and mobile communications are growing fast, the volume of data transmitted is exploding and their network is quickly expanding to satisfy the demand.     

Telecom Networks have become a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and growth, and all CSPs are being challenged to reduce their carbon emissions , to use more energy-efficient hardware to power their network elements (micro-processors, servers, storage, network switches vendors are being challenged to manufacture and sell more energy-efficient equipments), to use new  and more efficient cooling technologies, to optimize their resource with virtualization technologies, to use renewable energy, to Recycle & Reuse, in a nutshell to be Smarter and Greener.     

Most of them today are putting a lot of effort and resources in greener initiatives to meet these challenges, to reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions, which in the end will improve their Capital Expenses (Capex) and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of their network and also dramatically reduce their operating expenses (Opex).     

A recent report from Pike Research, Cleantech Market Intelligence, addresses in much detail all the following questions:     

•             Who are the leading providers, OEMs, and technology companies that are driving green telecom initiatives?     

•              What are some of the best practices being implemented today?     

•              What is the impact of green telecom on emerging markets versus developed markets?     

•              What is the business case for green telecom, and which components have the most impact on ROI?     

•              What is the market opportunity for green telecom in terms of Capex spending?     

•              How large is the opportunity for renewable energy in telecom networks?     

•              What is the potential for carbon emissions reduction through green telecom initiatives?     

I have included in this blog two charts from the Pike Research Report.     

So many new technologies, solutions and best practices are available today to help CSPs meet their challenges, it is also a great market opportunity for vendors and integrators:     

•             Network and data center platforms and designs , More efficient cooling technologies and design     

•              Access network efficiency improvements: DSLAMs, ONTs, BTSs, etc.     

•              Smart processors, controllers, and sensors     

•              Fuel cells and batteries     

•              Remote monitoring solutions (hardware and software)     

•              Solar PV for network power,  Wind energy for network power, Biomass for network power     

•              Improved ASICs,  Low Energy CPUs, IP Softswitches, Reduced Power RF Amplifiers     

•              Hardware, Software and Applications Virtualization     

•              Cloud Computing  etc…     

Mobile Network Green Capex, World Markets, 2009-2014


 So it should be a Win-Win for all, reduce cost and increase profitability and competitiveness for CSPs, additional revenue for innovative technology vendors and improved carbon emission for our planet.     

As so much of our life in the future will depend more and more on communications, 


We Need Smarter and Greener Telecom Networks!