Jan 7, 2019

Five Data Center Predictions for 2019


Data centers are evolving to keep up with the demands of business transformation. The future of the data center industry is changing and 2019 will bring significant advances to reliability, agility, simplicity, automation, and cost. From 5G networks to Edge compute to the cloud — all improvements will help keep the world and our businesses better connected.

Just a few years ago, not many predicted cloud computing or data center automation would reach the heights we’ve seen in 2018 — Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90 percent of organizations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities. Furthermore, the data center automation market was worth USD 5.92 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 16.10 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 17.83 percent, during the period 2018-2023. Who knew?

With the data center automation bar constantly being raised, where do we go from here?

For a look ahead into future data center trends, Apstra switched on our flux capacitor and revved our DeLorean time machine to 88 miles per hour to see what’s ahead in 2019:

  1. IT Regains Control
    2019 is the year that IT takes back control of outcomes for business transformation, unified policy, security protection, compliance, operational expenses, and the reliability of applications and workloads for their clients. In 2019 there will be a growing repatriation of many applications, data, and services back to the private data center. This will be facilitated because services such as Intent-Based Data Center Automation make private data centers much more viable through increased application reliability, cloud-like agility, and simplified operations through automation.
  2. IT Slashes Costs
    Enterprise data center IT will slash the cost of operations by eliminating the burden of testing, qualifying and verifying new vendor network devices and operating systems (OS) by using Intent-Based Data Center Automation that is built on level 2 Intent-Based Networking technology.
  3. Enterprise IT Brings Shadow IT Back
    2019 is the year that Enterprise data center IT teams bring Shadow IT back to the mothership. By implementing private data centers that are agile, secure, less expensive, operated using cloud principles, and easier for clients to consume, the data center IT teams will become superheroes in 2019.
  4. Genuine Hybrid Cloud Emerges
    In 2019 Enterprises don’t fully move away from the cloud, but hybrid cloud (private and public) becomes the norm for planning, designing, and building centers of data.
  5. Edge Compute Becomes a Thing
    Edge compute will continue to change the way data centers operate by moving compute and storage closer to the origination of data, therefore, data centers will see a major shift because of Edge networking. Edge networks, the cloud and modern data centers will all work together to make the world’s connectivity stronger and faster. Edge networking will also reap the benefits of the Internet of Things.


  1. Documentation Does Itself
    In 2019 Data Center compliance becomes incredibly easier and automated through self-documentation that produces a digital “paper” trail for the Data Center.  Intent-Based Data Center Automation creates ongoing traceability of human made and environmental changes that occur in the data center. This includes real-time validation and tracking of device version histories.

During 2019, things will move swiftly in the data center world to keep up with Enterprise IT demands and the pace of change from cloud computing, to containers, virtualization, machine learning, and edge computing. That’s just a snapshot of what we think Doc and Marty will see if they take the DeLorean into next year. There will certainly be more big headlines around Intent-Based Networking and Data Center Automation as IT find innovative ways to adopt it and evolve their data centers.

I predict these advancements won’t be the only ones we’ll see. What do you think the next big data center innovation will be? Leave a comment below.

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