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SMB Data Centers: Turn Out the Lights, The Party's Over!
Bob Bready
JUL 01, 2013 08:00 AM
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"Turn out the lights, the party's over. They say that all good things must end." Lyrics from Willie Nelson's song may be an appropriate tune to sing when describing the future of the data center in small and medium businesses.

Cloud computing offers the small- and medium-sized business customer a way to turn on applications for their staff and customers quickly and efficiently. No longer do smaller organizations need to spend much needed capital to provide world class IT services. In addition, customers now have high quality companies to choose from when purchasing their cloud computing services.

Aberdeen's recent report "IBM Buys Softlayer: Cloud Computing Now Mainstream" reviews IBM's recent acquisition of Softlayer, a cloud computing company. The report also reveals cloud usage trends, top cloud solutions , benefits and the pressures driving organizations to the cloud.

Aberdeen's March 2013 survey, Usage of the Public Cloud, found that 85% of all respondents use or plan to use the public cloud. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is the leading cloud technology enabled by end users. Applications such as CRM, web and ecommerce are a natural fit for SaaS technology. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is another cloud technology that is gaining momentum and is one of the services that Softlayer offers. IaaS allows organizations to rent compute power and storage, instead of purchasing hardware and software. This provides the user greater flexibility and significantly reduces the time to deliver new applications to users at less cost. Reduced capital and expense costs were cited as top benefits from cloud initiatives.

While all of these benefits are great for the IT user, how will this effect traditional leading, on-premise, IT infrastructure organizations like IBM, HP, Dell and Cisco. Reduced costs for the end user means reduced revenue for these companies. What will these organizations look like in 10 years is hard to imagine, but it is guaranteed they will be much different.

If you are a small- or medium-sized business and are thinking of updating or opening a new data center, don't bother. Just shut out the lights, relax and reach for the clouds!

Bob Bready
Research Director IT Infrastructure, Aberdeen Group

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