EVALUATING THE DISTRIBUTED DATA CENTER ARCHITECTURE
The concept of the virtual data center is about both revenue and opportunity. A virtual data center is simply an extension of a larger centralized data center that offers similar services, with the added benefit of catering to more specific enterprise needs. By addressing large enterprises, perhaps through a customized virtual data center solution, data center operators can attract larger, more profitable end users while establishing a footprint in a new market segment. In fact, many Fortune 500 companies have already engaged in such strategies by building their own private networks using leased space and contracting companies to manage the network. This concept of the virtual data center has been shown to be popular in large metropolitan locations, where customers are spread out across larger distances.
As the data center market continues to evolve, large centralized data centers and smaller virtual data centers that are closer to the end users will co-exist. The concept of the hybrid cloud plays a role in that it addresses the need for large enterprises to keep certain mission critical resources close to them while locating other assets in large, more economical and centralized facilities. This solution also creates opportunity for data center operators to offer value-added services, from the basic virtual storage and computing services to the fully outsourced IT solutions that make the operators more indispensable to the enterprise. The critical element in this solution remains the network, which must be simple and efficient. From the technology angle, technologies such as photonic integration and optical super-channels may be critical to ensuring the deployment of simple, efficient and high performance virtual data center solutions.