By Den Sullivan, Head of Enterprise & Architectures for Middle East, Africa, and Russia/CIS.
We're seeing strong demand from Middle East CIOs for more agile data center infrastructures.
This comes as no real surprise, as according to our Cisco Global Cloud Index 2012-2017, in the Middle East and Africa's data center traffic is projected to grow 5.5-fold by 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate of 41 percent over a five year period from 2012 to 2017.
In the Middle East, strong economic growth, rapid take-up of smart devices, the rise of Smart Cities, and increased investment in megaprojects like World Expo 2020 in Dubai and 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar are all driving business demands for more agile IT infrastructure.
Boosted by the region's rise in Big Data, business analytics, and sharing of rich media, data centers need to support new business models. The vast majority of the data center traffic is not caused by end users, but rather by data centers and cloud-computing workloads used in activities that are virtually invisible to individuals.
For the period 2011 – 2016, Cisco forecasts that roughly 76 percent of data center traffic will stay within the data center, and will be largely generated by storage, production and development data.
An additional seven percent of data center traffic will be generated between data centers primarily driven by data replication and software/system updates. The remaining 17 percent of data center traffic will be fueled by end users accessing clouds for web surfing, emailing, and video streaming.
One of the fundamental principles of the data center of the future, both globally and in the Middle East region, will be the ability to dynamically deliver business critical applications. Virtualization of physical data center infrastructure has built a flexible foundation for many enterprises, and attention is now turning to enabling centralized visibility of all applications and systems in order to control performance and service management.
Many large organizations still operate multiple management systems from different vendors inside the data center. These walled programs are hardware specific, running independently and requiring significant manual input and specific expertise.
With a fragmented patchwork of management systems and tools, it's difficult to get a coherent view of system health; time is wasted moving between systems, and it's hard to automate routine tasks. What's more, IT teams tend to work in silos even in virtualized environments, where they specialize in servers, or storage or networking or in certain types of management tools.
Senior IT leaders already know this situation is not efficient or sustainable. As demand for flexible, application centric architecture grows, joined-up management and intelligent software will solve a range of today's IT and process issues.
Meeting the demands of the Middle East's data centers, our Application-Centric Infrastructure provides simple, flexible, automated, and agile data center infrastructure that puts applications first and drives network programmability. Our customers have found that Application-Centric Infrastructure fabric enhances application delivery time by up to 80 percent.
Data Center innovation will be a key topic for us at GITEX Technology Week 2014. Join us to learn how your IT costs can be reduced, while making your business more agile!