hybrid data centres Hybrid Theory In a hybrid generation, Jackson Lee, VP of corporate development at Colt, discusses the importance of having a solid hybrid data centre strategy. T his year, global cloud computing revenue in all its guises will grow 18 per cent to $247 billion. The number of connected ‘things’ is also forecast to grow significantly. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2017, around 8.4 billion devices will be in use worldwide. The ripple effects of these market forces will be felt by data centre providers in several ways. The mainstream larger cloud service providers will continue to build more compute capacity, networking and storage. This will be in the form of hyperscale server farms, designed to accommodate growing data demands and workloads. To appreciate the scale of transactions today, consider that as I write this, Twitter is handling over 500 million tweets a day. Meanwhile, payment network provider Visa is capable of processing more than 24,000 transaction per second. 30 | August 2017 We’re also seeing hyperscale demand expand into new areas, as cheaper compute power and sensors drive adoption of digital technologies in emerging markets. In industries such as manufacturing, machine-to- machine interactions directed by the Internet of Things (IoT) are creating new hyperscale segments. A good example is engineering giant General Electric (GE). A pair of its jet engines on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner generate a terabyte of information per day. Creating a competitive edge On the opposite side of the same coin is the evolution of edge computing and micro-data centres. When applications and data are moved from centralised points to the outer layers of traditional internet hubs, the distance between users and that data inevitably narrows. It makes delivering the right information at the right time to the user or the device quicker and more efficient. The increase in interconnectivity between machines, applications and other IoT-based devices using cloud providers is directly tied to this trend. As virtual reality (VR), the connected home and driverless cars emerge as mainstream products and services, a latency- centred product that sits closer to the user is key. Today, almost every company and user requires near-instant access to data in order to be successful. This might explain why edge computing has been publicised as the next multibillion- dollar tech market. Organisations across the board are increasingly looking to double-down on customer experience through the delivery of services, content and data in real-time.