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2019 Data Center Predictions: The pendulum swings as customer demands reshape how infrastructure vendors do business

The cycle of complexity is back as infrastructure vendor portfolio transformations make digitization achievable

Moore’s law economics has reached a point where compute no longer constrains IT automation. Due to the miniaturization of electronics, distributed computing is taking place at the microprocessor board level, as evidenced by the rise of graphics processing units (GPUs) and the resulting hyperconverged infrastructures. As such, refresh cycles no longer consist of replacing old, standardized Intel servers with new variants. Now IT departments look at the cost economics of the traditional standardized servers against the increasing number of compute form factor variants coming to market as purpose-built edge compute instances.

As compute form factors proliferate, there has been a shift in the type of skills IT departments require. Manual taskwork becomes automated. Technical skills have to incorporate more software functionality to operate the various management control planes that can monitor, manage and dynamically provision an enterprise IT instance. Physical IT becomes less relevant based on abstraction, which allows for enterprise IT to reduce the number of primary suppliers. The margin protection for infrastructure vendors will come from the power and simplicity of the abstraction layer, be it PaaS or management, orchestration and provisioning.

The plot thickens when emerging technologies are placed on top of this evolving landscape. Cutting-edge capabilities and the growing need to secure environments are further adding to the complexity of IT infrastructure, as is necessary to achieve desired outcomes. Meanwhile, consumers want to reap the benefits of these emerging capabilities without dabbling in the complexities. Infrastructure vendors will undergo many transformations — in how they partner, in how they go to market, and in how they innovate — to maintain relevance in a rapidly evolving 2019.

2019 Predictions

  • In an increasingly open-source world, the power of partnerships grows stronger within hardware-centric vendor strategies
  • Innovation will be reimagined by infrastructure vendors, as R&D is shifted to address the overarching demand by customers to leverage their key IT vendor as a one-stop shop
  • Emerging infrastructure technologies reshape customer demands, placing increasing emphasis on new ways of computing and managing data

Register for TBR’s webinar The pendulum swings: Customer demands reshape how infrastructure vendors do business, Feb. 6, 2019.

JEDI’s disruption may go beyond the cloud

That shift is “elevating consensus-building into a prerequisite for embarking on disruptive technology adoption” for desired government outcomes. — Joey Cresta, Analyst

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Public sector struggles with tech’s shift from wallet to will manifest in JEDI RFP woes

Any follower of technology knows it has been radically transforming private enterprise and social interactions, as outlined in a TBR special report on a concept we call the “Business of One.” A more aggressive piece on the impending Digital Dust Bowl discussed the increased polarization of public policy triggered in part by technology. In investigating the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) request for proposals (RFP) TBR analysts spoke to a number of representatives from technology suppliers that service the public sector who could not discern the value of a single-source cloud contract with a potential 10-year term when early adopters in private enterprise have moved beyond that concept into a multi-cloud environment. Furthermore, a fixed term of a decade for leading-edge technology adds to, rather than mitigates, risk based on the increased rate and pace of change. In short, TBR believes the DOD’s decision to delay the JEDI RFP is an encouraging, rather than discouraging, sign, as it speaks to the importance of consensus building in a post-Moore’s Law world.

 

 

JEDI is the force leading AWS’ charge into the U.S. Department of Defense

The DOD’s JEDI cloud contract illustrates how IT prowess enables a strong national security posture. Central governments, even more than the largest commercial enterprises, struggle to keep pace with the current rate of technological change. Many times, major decisions do not occur proactively, but rather are made in response to gaps in capabilities that become matters of national security. The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract indicates the DOD finds itself in that very position, spurred by a need to address technology gaps resulting from a decades-long lapse in investment that started with the end of the Cold War. — Cassandra Mooshian, Senior Analyst; and Joey Cresta, Analyst

Full Article

JEDI is the force leading AWS’ charge into the U.S. Department of Defense

Central governments, even more than the largest commercial enterprises, struggle to keep pace with the current rate of technological change. Many times, major decisions do not occur proactively, but rather are made in response to gaps in capabilities that become matters of national security. The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract indicates the DOD finds itself in that very position, spurred by a need to address technology gaps resulting from a decades-long lapse in investment that started with the end of the Cold War. Since that time, near-peer rivals such as Russia and China have developed advanced capabilities in anti-access/area denial electronic warfare, state-sponsored cyber, and other technologies that make space and cyberspace contested warfare domains, eroding the U.S.’ traditional advantages in unassailable power projection on a global scale and increasing its vulnerability.