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The Twighlight of Small In-House Data Centers

samzenpus posted 1 year,26 days | from the say-goodnight dept.

Businesses 180

dcblogs writes "Virtualization, cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) is making it much easier to shift IT infrastructure operations to service providers, and that is exactly what many users are doing. Of the new data center space being built in the U.S., service providers accounted for about 13% of it last year, but by 2017 they will be responsible for more than 30% of this new space, says IDC. 'We are definitely seeing a trend away from in-house data centers toward external data centers, external provisioning,' said Gartner analyst Jon Hardcastle. Among those planning for a transition is the University of Kentucky's CIO, who wants to reduce his data center footprint by half to two thirds. He expects in three to five years service provider pricing models 'will be very attractive to us and allow us to take most of our computing off of our data center.' IT managers says a big reason for the shift is IT pros don't want to work in data centers at small-to-mid size firms that can't offer them a career path. Hank Seader, managing principal of the Uptime Institute, said that it takes a 'certain set of legacy skills, a certain commitment to the less than glorious career fields to make data centers work, and it's hard to find people to do it.'"

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180 comments

Hey (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43310999)

Did you hear they're improving the transportation in Harlem? Yeah, they're planting the trees closer together.

Twighlight. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311001)

Twighlight.

Re:Twighlight. (4, Insightful)

nicodoggie (1228876) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311227)

Because Twilight is too mainstream.

Re:Twighlight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311745)

Because Twilight is too mainstream.

I liked Twilight before she was manestream.

Re:Twighlight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311773)

I liked Twilight before she was manestream.

Personally, I'm reserving judgment until season 4 starts.

Come on! (2)

spyke252 (2679761) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311009)

"Twighlight"? Editors don't even read the titles anymore, it seems.

Re:Come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311057)

Editors have been replaced by sales reps since the acquisition.

Re:Come on! (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311091)

Editors? You haven't been on slashdot very long. They have NEVER had editors.

Re:Sales Reps (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311111)

That's even worse. Sales guys used to be good at producing "junk that looked pretty". You know, Pointy Headed Power Point Presentations and all that. So I guess the quality of sales isn't even any good any more.

Re:Sales Reps (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311507)

You're thinking of the MARKETING guys...The sales guys are the ones who tell you every feature you just asked for are in the new version being released next week then send a frantic email to the developers group telling them what needs to be added by next week.

Re:Come on! (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311205)

Nobody could be dumb enough to make such a mistake, so it must be a pun, clever wordplay or a joke of some sort.
I don't get it, though.

Re:Come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311355)

Nah, it must come from one of those Linuxy types that loves the command line and hates spell checking (and doesn't know how to spell unless it is stuff like awk, grep, iptables, ifconfig, etc.)

Re:Come on! (3, Insightful)

ArhcAngel (247594) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311519)

If it were the Linuxy types that love command line it would have been twlt and a man page describing what it was would be perpetually forthcoming.

Re:Come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311601)

Nah, it must come from one of those Linuxy types that loves the command line and hates spell checking (and doesn't know how to spell unless it is stuff like awk, grep, iptables, ifconfig, etc.)

The irony of it is, Linux these days has what amounts to a centralized spelling checker and many apps are plugged into it. Something Windows doesn't offer.

Of course, that's no protection against homonym abuse or people who click "Submit" before they see the squiggly lines, but it means that to a certain degree you can figure that if it's truly misspelled, the submitter wasn't using Linux.

Re:Come on! (1)

carrier lost (222597) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311373)

...it must be a pun, clever wordplay or a joke of some sort. I don't get it, though.

It's because data centers don't have sparkly vampires

Re:Come on! (2)

wompa (656355) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311719)

They originally had "Twilight" in the title but had to remove it after receiving a DMCA take down notice from the movie studio that holds the copyright on the Twilight movies.

Re:Come on! (3, Funny)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311755)

Twilight (tm) is now a registered Trademark of the owners of the movie and book series. From now on the rest of us have to use Twighlight

Re:Come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311825)

They just need to throw in a q and a z so they can cheat at Scrabble.

Re:Come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43312107)

Igh don't understand. Please clarifygh.

An explicit return to the failed timesharing model (5, Insightful)

Scareduck (177470) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311021)

People pitched the timesharing computing model for a lot of reasons, lack of control of the hardware and the software rental treadmill being two of the largest. Every time I hear someone gushing over The Cloud and Software As A Service, it's history repeating itself.

Re:An explicit return to the failed timesharing mo (5, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311237)

"All of this has happened before and will happen again... every five years".

You have to admire the creativity of giving the exact same concept a different name every time.

Re:An explicit return to the failed timesharing mo (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311487)

This is why Bill Hicks plead with marketers to kill themselves.

Re:An explicit return to the failed timesharing mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311533)

They're never going to do it themselves.

He'll have to do it for us.

Re:An explicit return to the failed timesharing mo (5, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311549)

It is the same old stuff in new wrappers. But therein is a statement:

1) In house development and app hosting weren't working. Why? Costs? Pains? Staffing? Budget

2) It's just about as secure to do things internally as on external hosting because if you do the job right, there's truly no secure boundary and people learned that.

3) Vertical market software is getting really good, and SaaS can even be satisfactory for some-- and vastly less than doing it in-house.

4) Less Capex. No huge front-end expense to setup shop/branches. Rent everything.... every IT cost is OpEx rather than CapEx.

5) Stuff moves to quickly to keep up, perhaps. Tough even for us old sages.

Re:An explicit return to the failed timesharing mo (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311651)

What goes around, comes around. IT is and always will be the same circle continually reverting back to what it was 20 years ago.

Re:An explicit return to the failed timesharing mo (1)

Nutria (679911) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311887)

People pitched the timesharing computing model for a lot of reasons

And maybe the "PC on every desk" paradigm has it's own problems. But then, Ken Olsen is my hero, so I have my own biases...

Re:An explicit return to the failed timesharing mo (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,26 days | (#43312141)

What your missing is that almost everything in IT has been history repeating itself for 20 years or so now. Just about everything cool, sexy, and new has been stuff the mainframe guys did long ago. Timesharing is just the latest. That's not a good thing nor a bad thing, it's just a predictable thing.

Really, the only new ideas have been AJAX (without which the web looks very much like mainframe-terminal interaction) and streaming (which changes how you want to cache stuff in an interesting way).

The industry will circulate between "centralize everything" and "decentralize everything" on a 20-year-ish cycle forever - it's just long enough for CIOs to seem clever as most have forgotten the last time we did it. In another 10 years I expect to see /. posts about "Every time I hear someone gushing over , it's history repeating itself."

Re:An explicit return to the failed timesharing mo (5, Funny)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,26 days | (#43312167)

That's "Every time I hear someone gushing over [whatever P2P is called now] , it's history repeating itself." Freaking Slashcode will be exactly the same in 20 years, that's for sure.

Re:An explicit return to the failed timesharing mo (1)

eth1 (94901) | 1 year,26 days | (#43312185)

People pitched the timesharing computing model for a lot of reasons, lack of control of the hardware and the software rental treadmill being two of the largest. Every time I hear someone gushing over The Cloud and Software As A Service, it's history repeating itself.

Just because your data center isnt' in-house, doesn't automatically mean "cloud" and "SaaS." I work for a company that does IT outsourcing, and what you're really time-sharing in most cases is the technical talent and expensive data center infrastructure, not the networks and servers.

Many of our customers may only have enough servers for a rack or three. They have the option of setting up redundant power, generators, weather-proof buildings, security, etc., but that would be prohibitively expensive, so we move them here, and they use ours. Even more silly is hiring several each (to provide 24/7 coverage) of firewall experts, windows experts, linux experts, exchange experts, industrial electricians, etc. when you really only need them for a few hours a month. Sure, you could try to find one or two people that could do all of that, but they tend to have to rely heavily on vendor support when they run into gnarly problems, so you're right back to having to rely on a third party.

We have a team of about 40 people that do nothing but firewalls, for example. Our customers just pay for whatever of our time they need. Basically the model allows a company to hire 1/8 of a rock-solid ASA admin, 1/10 of an exchange expert, 1/5 of an oracle dba, and half of a linux admin. Cheaper than hiring one person, and with much deeper knowledge of their fields than a jack-of-all-trades.

in-house data centers: we have one (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311045)

In general this is true of any industry. As certain services no longer become differentiating and become commoditized, you're going to get a situation where its best to outsource these activities to the player who can do it for you cheapest.

The biggest mistake that companies make is when these data centers are part of your core business. For a University this is not the case - their core business is research and education. For my company, however, we will continue to run our own geographically redundant datacenters because they power our core business - we're a text message gateway.

That there's a 'twilight' is just the natural progression in any industry - however just figure that the jobs that remain in data center work will be directly involved with the core business. If you're at RackSpace or Amazon, then the data is your core business. If you're like us, then the datacenter is so critical to core business that you're de-facto in a position of power in the company.

Good luck to those mediocre data center managers at centers not involved in core-business. I'd start looking for a new job now.

Re:in-house data centers: we have one (4, Interesting)

Blrfl (46596) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311347)

Actually, the biggest mistake companies make is using the *same* data centers for its core business. If you're in bed with a single provider, then you break when they break. Until there's a standard way to provision and operate things across multiple providers, this is going to be a problem. What we need isn’t a lot of clouds providing services. We need services being provided by a lot of clouds.

Re:in-house data centers: we have one (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311457)

Yep, once your ISP or cloud provider goes down for a few hours and your chief accountant can't access Extremely Important Documents when he needs them (because they weren't cached on his PC), you'll start thinking about spreading it over several providers with constant replication.

And, you know, may be get a big computer to cache all our documents and put it in your building... Hmm, what to call it? "Local Cloud"? Then may be won't even need replication etc, and we can get a guy to fix it quickly if it breaks. May be we won't even need to renew the contract with our cloud provider!

Re:in-house data centers: we have one (2, Interesting)

RKBA (622932) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311551)

But even more importantly to the chief accountant is that he will have no local IT guys to beat up and blame everything on when the system goes down.

Re:in-house data centers: we have one (1)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311791)

Yep, once your ISP or cloud provider goes down for a few hours and your chief accountant can't access Extremely Important Documents when he needs them (because they weren't cached on his PC), you'll start thinking about spreading it over several providers with constant replication.

And, you know, may be get a big computer to cache all our documents and put it in your building... Hmm, what to call it? "Local Cloud"? Then may be won't even need replication etc, and we can get a guy to fix it quickly if it breaks. May be we won't even need to renew the contract with our cloud provider!

Not necessarily - my mid-sized company has had several outages of our cloud based finance system and/or internet (having multiple ISP's doesn't help when everyone runs through the same last mile to get to the facility), including a 2 hour outage while auditors were on-site for our annual accounting audit. But that didn't raise any calls to bring it back in-house.

Running it in-house doesn't necessarily make it any more reliable.

Re:in-house data centers: we have one (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311821)

What we need isn’t a lot of clouds providing services. We need services being provided by a lot of clouds.

I don't get it, it sounds like you are just repeating yourself here. Did you mean to say:

What we need isn’t a lot of clouds each providing distinct services. We need individual services being provided by a lot of clouds.

Because that to me makes more sense in the context of the beginning of your post, which sounded like you see the problem as a lack of redundancy.

Re:in-house data centers: we have one (1)

mrspock33 (1160681) | 1 year,26 days | (#43312003)

This. We often hear these sweeping generalizations from the tech pundits that the "cloud" or [insert new tech here] is hot and you should jump on board. More often than not, it comes down to the environment in which you operate in and your specific strategy (amongst other factors). As said a million times here on ./ --right tool for the job....and the cloud is NOT always the right tool.

My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (4, Insightful)

Raven42rac (448205) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311047)

I have a threefold problem with "cloud" storage/computing 1) Lack of control/physical security, up to and including removing my access to my own data due to a violation of some cockamamie TOS or similar agreement. 2) No ability to remedy downtimes, while rare, still do happen. 3) The ability of government agencies to scan my data for whatever they feel like arbitrarily and possibly without due process.

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311089)

2. is our biggest one.

So far the best we found were totally worthless SLAs that state basically 100% uptime, but your only recourse for downtime is a refund of your payments.

In house we also have visibility into downtime. We now when the parts are arriving and at what stage something is at. No cloud vendor will give you that, because they of course will inconvenience smaller players to keep bigger customers happy. So you can't say "We stole your hardware for a customer 3 times your size".

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311153)

It also looks bad when I can't say what the problem is, the ETA, what we are doing to work around it, etc.

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311161)

Yeah, we have ended contracts with suppliers already for that sort of thing. Someone who can't even tell you when their service will be back are not folks you can rely on.

These are of course not concerns for a university.

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (2)

andy1307 (656570) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311365)

3) The ability of government agencies to scan my data for whatever they feel like arbitrarily and possibly without due process.

How does an in-house data center protect you from that? If they're not following due process for a hosting provider, what makes you think they'll do the same for your in-house data center. People need to calm the fuck down and stop acting like they live in north korea/china.

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311441)

If some perv is going to stare at my junk in the shower, I'd prefer that he knock on the window so that I know that he's doing it.

RE: he's doing it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43312093)

"he's doing it."

I know this is Slashdot and all, but can't you at least fantasize that it might be a "she" .

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (1)

Buzer (809214) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311753)

You can limit which governments are allowed to scan your data choosing countries in which you do business. In case of cloud providers, access to data depends on which countries laws they need to obey (which most likely is bigger list than what your company has to).

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311937)

FBI will soon have the availability for real-time surveillance of GMail (which tells you they have other, slower access already).

Not so for in-house. What? You live in denial-land?

Captcha: sensible

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (1)

Golddess (1361003) | 1 year,26 days | (#43312005)

If they're not following due process for a hosting provider, what makes you think they'll do the same for your in-house data center.

The problem, I believe, isn't the government acquiring the data through illegal means. It's the government politely asking the service provider, "hey, I don't actually have a warrant, but could you please give me XYZ information?"

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (1)

SpzToid (869795) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311375)

What about power and redundancy? What about about bandwidth redundancy? Those two little tick-boxes seems to favor data center centralization for a lot of folks concerned about business operations, uptime, and their associated costs vs. risks.

Maybe if we're talking about a business with multiple dispersed office locations, but still, those larger enterprise clients also seem better served by a real data center. Look at it this way, is your core business power and bandwidth? Can that be outsourced more reliably while retaining security?

Re:My problem with offsite/cloud storage. (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311447)

its not like you need five nines for every single server. where i work we have a few servers that can be failed over within a few minutes. and most are single servers with only RAID for redundancy. if they go down, yawn. until we get them back up

but when you go to the cloud they have to buy five nines and DR capability for all the customers. in the end its not really cheaper and if you look at the financials of a lot of cloud providers, they are losing money.

the other day i read about a company called Workday that does HR/Finance computing in the cloud. lots of hype and they have almost $273 MILLION in revenues. and over $100 million in losses. at some point they will have to raise prices to turn a profit. same with all the other cloud companies that are losing money

It all boils down to (3, Insightful)

bobstreo (1320787) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311065)

What level of risk you're willing to bet on your Internet connection(s).

It will be less than optimal when 20,000 kids in the school are streaming netflix in their dorm rooms while
their professors are trying to work on their research grants on the file servers in the clouds.

Combine that with multiple legal implications of the data being contained on the low bidder data center most of these kind of people will pick

From the article:
>>IT managers says a big reason for the shift is IT pros don't want to work in data centers at small-to-mid size firms that can't offer them a career path. Hank >>Seader, managing principal of the Uptime Institute, said that it takes a 'certain set of legacy skills, a certain commitment to the less than glorious career fields >>to make data centers work, and it's hard to find people to do it.'"
Which to me means "The real reason we can't find anyone to work in our data centers or provide any career path is that we're unwilling to pay anything above minimum wage."

Re:It all boils down to (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311133)

It is the same issue we face with airlines.

People will shop only based on price, forcing a race to the bottom. Then they will complain about outages and poor service.

Re:It all boils down to (4, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311201)

Yes, there will be added need for network resources, but honestly, if their network admins can't figure out how to segment their residential from their research networks and throttle the residential usage, they need to rejoin the student body. The real issue with student traffic has always been keeping the existing residential bandwidth fully available for students to do their work, as opposed to having it clogged with people streaming Netflix, doing p2p downloads, and other non-educational activities, and that has little or nothing to do with "Cloud" storage and processing.

Re:It all boils down to (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311247)

Netflix, P2P and non-educational activities are very important for student traffic. These folks live there.

No one works all the time, not even college students.

Re:It all boils down to (1)

tnk1 (899206) | 1 year,26 days | (#43312021)

I think my point was that the challenge was to not have the non-educational stuff overwhelm the educational stuff. Yes, there is quality of life, but I am nearly certain that the installation of ResNet projects was not justified in the budget as for being meant to provide streaming movies on demand. In short, you should have your other stuff, but it can't be to the exclusion of your coursework being able to be completed, and the network resource needs for movies or p2p can make it a challenge to make sure the network links aren't saturated with "other" stuff.

they don't teach that in CS theory based classes (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43312029)

they don't teach that in CS theory based classes

Re:It all boils down to (1)

CimmerianX (2478270) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311559)

QOS solves the 1st problem. >>"The real reason we can't find anyone to work in our data centers or provide any career path is that we're unwilling to pay anything above minimum wage." I couldn't agree more. This is why companies are fighting so hard for more H1B Visas. There are plenty of foreign workers who will take that minimum wage job....

Re:It all boils down to (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311641)

Every time somebody brings this up, just sprinkle peanuts around your demarc. The eventual squirrel strike will remind them why it is nice to have your data within your local network.

Do the power also, reminding people why they can't use the backup generator room as storage space, as well as providing crispy critters for lunch.

Re:It all boils down to (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311735)

Our biggest client switched to a SaaS model for their primary application. We weren't sorry to see their ratty old servers get retired since they weren't willing to replace the hardware, but we warned them that they'd need redundant ISPs for this model to work. After the first big 2-hour long Internet outage on their primary fiber provider, they agreed and now there's a backup DSL connection.

Correction... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311081)

"much CHEAPER to shift IT infrastructure operations to service providers"

It's not about easier. It's trading control, stability, and uptime for Lower IT operation costs. Executives dont care about safety of data, stability, uptime or control. All they care about is how good does the next quarter look to the board. Who cares if the company tanks in 5 years, Next quarter is all that is important.

Re:Correction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311179)

They start to care when their data 'goes away' for 3 days.

Re:Correction... (2)

maswan (106561) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311239)

They start to care when their data 'goes away' for 3 days.

But that's very unlikely to happen in the next quarter. Probably not even for the next 3-5 years, by which time they'll be somewhere else and not give a shit.

Re:Correction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311363)

It's amazing you people really believe this stuff.

Re:Correction... (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311731)

That is mostly correct...until the data that wasn't secure gets into the wrong hands and gives the competition a competitive advantage or causes the stocks to plummet from scandalous information/images getting leaked.

The only hurdle left is trust (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311085)

Some people just are not inclined to trust a service provider with holding their private data, even when it is encrypted. An OEM could probably make some money by designing redundant and power-efficient storage nodes for home / small business networks to meet that demand.

Re:The only hurdle left is trust (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311119)

Trust is not the only hurdle.
Lack of insight into downtime and worthwhile SLAs. Simply getting a refund is not good enough when an hours downtime cost you a 10 million dollar contract. We literally have contract like this. This means we would if we had to steal hardware or resources from other projects to keep that system up and running or to return to service faster.

You can't do that with a cloud provider. If they have an outage you are stuck at their mercy. They will have downtime, not only is it just a fact of life, but they are going to try to provide your service as cheap as possible to increase their margins. Also because if they don't you will select a cheaper provider.

Re:The only hurdle left is trust (1)

tnk1 (899206) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311749)

All valid points, but few of them are insurmountable. Many of the providers, particularly Amazon, offer distributed filesystems, and the ability to spin up in different segments of their overall cloud. If you are running MapReduce operations or load balanced web apps, you're already running software that can handle outages of parts of the infrastructure without stopping, and sometimes, not even slowing down that much.

Now, ensuring that you have a presence where you can spin up processes in the non-compromised segment will likely mean extra cost, and that needs to be considered, but a properly designed cloud implementation will not fall prey to even something as admittedly absurd as Amazon losing a datacenter due to some really bad weather. Not to mention, if that happens due to Amazon or the other provider having an issue, I am certain that some really bitchy calls to my sales rep will assure that the cost gets offset in some way, especially with other cloud providers spinning up.

There is definitely a need for infrastructure to remain private in many cases, but the public compute clusters do represent a real opportunity to offload cost if it is not your core business or you are just getting started. There is a lot of hype, but there is also real potential.

Re:The only hurdle left is trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311751)

Maybe you should stop considering all clouds to be bargain basement providers.I happen to work for one of them. We run redundancy throughout our infrastructure and use VMware as our platform. Our hosts are the same kind of enterprise gear you'd buy yourself. We also connect everything with enterprise level fiber, ethernet, and infiniband.

It's not all junk desktops in makeshift racks out there. A lot of our customers come to us because the cost of buying an enterprise grade datacenter is ludicrous on an individual project/site basis. As far your $10M contract...if you hosted that with someone like us you could tick a few boxes and get on/off-site backups, multi-site replication (from you to us, or across our sites). As for lack of insight into downtime we inform our clients of maintenance schedules as well as provide root-cause analysis.

So they grew by 70% and cloud by 30%? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311087)

"Of the new data center space being built in the U.S., service providers accounted for about 13% of it last year, but by 2017 they will be responsible for more than 30% of this new space"

So to put it another way, small local data centers grew 6.6 times faster than cloud, and by 2017, they're predicting that they'll still be growing twice as fast?

Yet the article pretends that cloud is winning??????

Really?

Wow, MBA morons?

According to Hardcastle... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311149)

What about McCormick?

Lots of luck, chuck. (4, Interesting)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311151)

So, in essence, they don't want to pay IT staff what they're worth and can't find enough suckers willing to be underpaid, and believe the salesman when he says his company can do all of that messy IT work for you, dirt cheap. Heard that same song sung before - remember how everyone was going to lose their IT jobs to Indian outsourcing? How'd that turn out?

Re:Lots of luck, chuck. (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311295)

A lot of it does start out cheap with massive discounts. But once your data is moved over, good luck with it being cheap as the warehouse needs to please its shareholders with profits.

Re:Lots of luck, chuck. (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311455)

remember how everyone was going to lose their IT jobs to Indian outsourcing?

Half of them did.

How'd that turn out?

Depends on your perspective.

Re:Lots of luck, chuck. (1)

noc007 (633443) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311465)

You hit it on the nose. That's why I went to go work for a MSP. My previous employer knew full well that I was underpaid, but didn't want to bring my pay anywhere near DOL medians for the area. I saw a lot of job openings where that wanted the guy to do everything from tech support to DBA all for $40-$50k. I looked for a job where the position is where the money is made and not burdensome overhead. I left for a 60% increase that they didn't even bother to try and counter to my boss' dismay.

At the MSP, the sales team needs work and there needs to be more staff in Tier 2 where 98% of incidents are solved. The company has problems, but they're open minded, look for ways that can be improved, and are open to solutions from the peons.

I think part of the reason why some companies that can justify the cost of a larger IT dept. is they don't know how to find the right qualified people. Yes there are other reasons, however I've done my fare share of being the interviewee and interviewer. Interviewers don't always know how to ask the right questions and weed out wrong candidates and over 90% candidates are not qualified for the job they're applying for. A number of applicants either fudge their resumé or the recruiter does.

CSB:
I had one candidate that his resumé was fudged to hell by the recruiter. A number of old tech and non-relevant information was put on there. I asked basic questions related to that claimed knowledge and he just froze. I had to pull out of him that he didn't know. Unfortunately he didn't have the balls to say that is not on his original resumé and must have been put there by the recruiter, which I would have fully accepted.

Re:Lots of luck, chuck. (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311655)

Unfortunately he didn't have the balls to say that is not on his original resumé and must have been put there by the recruiter, which I would have fully accepted.

I had that once, but they had nerfed my resume and inflated their favourite canditate and even cut and pasted some bits on mine into his. I'd brought printed copies of the original to the interview, so could compare them and hand the original to what is now my current employer. That's the sort of stupid shit some recruitment agencies pull on you and is one reason why they won't accept a PDF.

Re:Lots of luck, chuck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43312007)

Even when an interviewer is himself actually "technical" they often get hung up to much on asking vendor specific questions to "universal" technology. Can I rattle off the top of my head where exactly in the Exchange Admin panel I go to change setting X? Nope. The other SMTP/POP3/IMAP solutions I have worked with don't seem to count though. "Sendmail?! All our computers use Outlook. Stuff for unix/linux isn't compatible"

Re:Lots of luck, chuck. (1)

kilodelta (843627) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311483)

Not too well. But for a different reason - it wasn't that I.T. people in India are any better or worse than we here in the United States. But like us in the U.S. they realize their skills are WORTH something and have begun demanding higher wages.

Seriously - a couple years ago I saw a photo spread in National Geographic. It was what appeared to be a nice residential enclave in southern California but instead it was in Bangalore.

Virtualization, cloud services and SAS (3, Insightful)

dgharmon (2564621) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311187)

Virtualization, cloud services and SAS won't replace conventional services until our 'broadband' is faster and more reliable than that offered to the consumer at the moment ...

+5 Bullshit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311323)

IT managers says a big reason for the shift is IT pros don't want to work in data centers at small-to-mid size firms that can't offer them a career path. Hank Seader, managing principal of the Uptime Institute, said that it takes a 'certain set of legacy skills, a certain commitment to the less than glorious career fields to make data centers work, and it's hard to find people to do it.

Bullshit! There is no shortage of IT works willing and able to fill these precise jobs. But, with the promise of reduced cost and cloudy buzz words, these "data centers" are being pulled out from under these workers' feet.

Hey mister CEO, we can host your Exchange server and eliminate the cost of hardware, software, electricity, and support staff(!). All this for only $10 per month per mailbox. Never mind that over three years that's two or three times the cost of an in-house Exchange server, less staffing which could be handled by an on demand consulting firm. Never mind that when the internet blinks the whole company is down and can't even schedule a meeting. It's cloudy so, it's got to be good.

Re:+5 Bullshit! (2)

afidel (530433) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311797)

Actually hosted Exchange is one of the things that actually DOES work out to be cheaper for many organizations. You can't do a three node DAG + admin for less than what Office365 costs until you get to about 300 mailboxes. Hell we're at 900 mailboxes and it was close for us but the small max mailbox size and the fact that it was OpEx rather than CapEx killed it for us.

In-house is cheaper... so far (4, Interesting)

delcielo (217760) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311351)

My experience in pricing these things out is that it's cheaper in-house. I can spin up a virtual machine on our VMWare/UCS infrastructure for about 1/5th the cost of a higher tier provider. I hear a lot about scalability, but so far I've never been in a position of telling somebody "I don't have room to create another VM for you." Flexibility is a semi-valid argument. It depends on what flexibility you want. If you don't need your test servers backed up, you're either paying for separate tiers in the cloud, or you're just paying for something you don't need or use. If I don't need to back up a VM in my own data center, I get direct savings from not doing so. The backups are just one example.

Cloud makes sense as an offering from 3rd party ISVs. If they have a product, they should offer a cloud option for it, where you pay them and they contract to whatever cloud provider they wish and include it as part of your cost. It's just another one of those tools that we will all use the wrong way because we have to satisfy some kind of managerial mandate. And we won't use it the right way because it jacks up the apparent cost of the products that could truly be a good fit.

Re:In-house is cheaper... so far (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43312119)

It's not about cost at all, it's the kind of cost that counts. Beancounters detest wages and investments, all this shows up badly in the books. They do however love a fixed direct cost! At my previous company there was even talk about renting staplers and other office supplies. While more expensive in the long run, it shows better in the books and in return pleases the shareholders. I no longer work for said company.

Why the hell ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311371)

Every time there's an article about a shortage of workers or skills in a particular field there's some retard bemoaning the lack of workers. The labor market is subject to the laws of supply and demand just like every other market. What the whiners mean is there is a lack of workers at that particular price point. If they paid more, offered better benefits, offered more flexible schedules, or some combination of the three they'd see an increase in the supply of qualified labor. It's just that they value keeping their wages low, their benefits low, and maintaining inflexible hours is more important to them that attracting qualified workers. That's not an opinion, it's a fact manifested in the choices they're making.

ih-house - not in your house (1)

magarity (164372) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311383)

Heck, I got all excited over the title at the idea of renting out an unused guest room as a data center,

3 to 5 years? Not so sure about time frame. (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311419)

I think offsite data centers will become more popular. But, I do not expect any major shift within that timeframe.

Internet access has to become much more reliable, fast, and secure, before such moves become practical for many companies.

No Hypervisor Support (1)

Thyamine (531612) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311425)

Most of the cloud offerings don't want you using your own hypervisor anyhow. At least not without paying so much more it isn't worth it. They are looking at spinning up the servers for you, or giving you the raw resources for a linux/Windows box. If you want to implement VMware or need to have access for something like Provisioning Services, you are most likely better off running that in your local datacenter right now.

In which I call bovine effluent (3, Insightful)

kilodelta (843627) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311445)

"IT managers says a big reason for the shift is IT pros don't want to work in data centers at small-to-mid size firms" that is complete and utter bull!

Now if they wanted to pay a reasonable rate then yes, maybe they'd get people to work for them. But until such time those small to medium shops stop being so cheap about what they pay their I.T. people they need to STFU right now.

Re:In which I call bovine effluent (1)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311757)

Not just pay, but IT people in small firms get involved in much more diverse tasks than one would in a large cloud center.

Instead of spending your life chasing cable through raised floors, you cold be working lots of admin tasks, troubleshooting desktops, helping management spec h/w and s/w acquisition. Maybe even a bit of application development and testing.

diverse tasks (1)

Dareth (47614) | 1 year,26 days | (#43312177)

There is the old saying that if you have to change an end user's mouse you are not a system administrator. Doesn't matter how many servers you actually admin. If you deal with end users you are help desk and/or a technician and can only be expected to be paid at that level.

People seem more willing to pay for depth of knowledge but not willing to pay for breadth of knowledge. So they end up with "experts" who say, "That is NOT my job". I am a professional. I get paid to get the job done. I do not care if it is Windows, Linux, hardware or software. Oh, and yes I do consider myself a Systems Administrator, even if I hand an end user a mouse now and then when the dedicated techs/help desk are busy.

WORD: H-1B (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43311591)

They'll do anything !! And work for peanuts !! We need MORE H-1Bs !!

I don't know about you guys ... (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311617)

I don't know about you guys but gigabit is starting to look slow on a local network so you can forget about going back to 10Mb/s if the stuff is stored offsite.

Your work account is suspended (1, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311971)

A friend of mine's department was sent a lot of spam this week.

So gmail banned THEIR accounts for 24 hours.

I'm not sure of the logic behind that one.

Wont happen (5, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,26 days | (#43311983)

We've been using Saas and cloud services for years now... and it's a mess. Contract negotiations are such a nightmare with these companies, we end up employing more people specializing in "contracts" than we would have if we just kept the service in house. We recently had a major project held up for 4 months because we found out the vendor had a different "understanding" of how our data was supposed to be encrypted and they had to haggle all that nonsense out before we could move forward. Don't even get me started on Oracle...

Then you have the whole problem of: You have no control over the vendors financial well being. Not only that, but it's in their best interest to hide financial troubles from you. So suddenly they go belly up and your entire service vanishes. We had a vendor maintaining our series of websites for us and they vanished overnight. Their staff walked out, but lucky for us the owner was a reasonable guy and did his best to get all the data he could to our guys. Meanwhile we had no staff that was in the business of doing web development, though some had a pretty good idea of what to do. But once we got the data we could from the owner, it ended up parts of it were compiled and there was no source code. (I'm sure it was somewhere but the owner wasn't a developer so...) It was a freaking mess. We ended up having to run a website for months with no idea what the source code looked like for some of the more complex bits until we were able to rebuild it from scratch ourselves.

Vendor Stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43312063)

The biggest drawback to out-sourced infrastructure is vendor stability and business direction.

As your vendor competes and/or refedines it's business model you can have unwelcome change thrust upon you in timelines that are inconvenient and require signifcant internal resources to manage.

Been there. More than once.

Anyone who has managed a data center understands the constant nature of changing software and hardware requirements. That doesn't go away because you've moved the problem to a vendor and you have added the risks associated with the vendor's business (mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcy, fraud, etc.) to your own.

Don't get me wrong, outsourced infrastructure can work but too many people underestimate the cost of this "cheaper" alternative by conveniently overlooking the significant operational, financial and legal risks that are aborbed as part of the client/vendor relationship.

Trends (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43312087)

Trends be damned: some data should not be trusted to other companies encrypted or otherwise. For example the captcha I just had is "breeches"

Job Security (1)

Blackknight (25168) | 1 year,26 days | (#43312175)

Hank Seader, managing principal of the Uptime Institute, said that it takes a 'certain set of legacy skills, a certain commitment to the less than glorious career fields to make data centers work, and it's hard to find people to do it.'"

I guess that makes my skills more valuable since there's a shortage of skilled admins.

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