Gartner Research

2016 Strategic Roadmap for Data Center Infrastructure

Published: 03 June 2016

ID: G00308122

Analyst(s): Jay E. Pultz, David Cappuccio , Ron Blair , Bob Gill , Lydia Leong , Tiny Haynes , Henrique Cecci , Kevin Ji


The data center infrastructure "supernova" is here, with applications and data forcefully spread across on-premises data centers, colocation, hosting and the cloud. IT leaders must apply a future-looking, enterprisewide steady hand to IT strategy and planning, or lose control and enterprise agility.

Table Of Contents


  • Fundamental Trends
  • Future State
    • Data Center Services Will Be Valued More Than Physical Systems
    • Data Center Services Will Be an Amalgam of Premises-Based, Colocated, Hosted and Cloud-Provided Services
    • In Most Cases, Enterprise-Private Clouds Will Not Keep Pace With the Innovation of Hyperscale Public IaaS and PaaS Providers
    • IaaS and PaaS "Patterns" Will Be Used to Drive Innovation as Planners Become Familiar With the "Art of the Possible"
    • Data Center "OS" and Container Orchestration Frameworks Will Coordinate, Schedule and Manage Applications Deployed Across Distributed Physical Servers and Service Providers
    • Bimodal IT Will Provide the Organizational and Process Framework for Enterprise During Periods of Migration and Integration, and an Eventual Status Quo Hybrid Infrastructure
  • Current State
    • On-Premises Applications and Data Still Outweigh Cloud-Based Assets
    • Business Unit Circumvention of IT in Search of More Agile and Innovative Cloud Services Continues Unabated
    • Direct Forklift Migrations of Existing Business Applications Are Often Not Cost-Effective
    • Not All Complexities and Inhibitors of Cloud Deployment Have Been Resolved as of 2016
  • Gap Analysis and Interdependencies
    • Manageability Across Hybrid Environments Is a Complex, Enormous Task With Nascent Off-the-Shelf Solutions
    • Business Units Will Not Wait for IT to "Catch Up"
    • A Well-Architected Cloud Strategy Unifies Elements to Support the Business
    • Most Organizations Do Not Possess the Skills to Perform Cost-Effective Migration of Mode 1 Applications to the Cloud
    • IT Departments Need Staff Who Can Function as a Response Team to Help the Business Units
  • Migration (and Evolution) Plan
    • Immediate Priority
    • Medium-Term Priority
    • Longer-Term Priority

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