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Should your data centre look more like Google’s?

Or is that just a stupid idea?

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Reader Study With all the talk of cloud, some are predicting the death of the enterprise data centre. The argument is that renting capacity from a service provider reduces costs and therefore owning your own facility in the future will become an extravagant luxury that few will be able to justify.

For those not buying this line of thinking for reasons that are too obvious to need repeating, another argument then kicks in. If you are going to maintain your own data centres, should you at least learn some lessons from the way the leading cloud players architect theirs? Or, to put it more simply, should you evolve your data centre to look more like Google's, based around elastic scale-out architecture powered by 'throw-away' commodity kit.

The counter argument, of course, is that unlike Google, enterprise data centres typically need to support a massive diversity of applications and workloads, often accumulated over decades of growth. We also can't dismiss the existence of many generations worth of legacy technology that can't simply be ripped and replaced.

With this in mind, we are interested in gathering a more down to earth view of data centre evolution from Reg readers. If you are involved in this area, we'd really like to hear from you via the latest reader survey, which you can get started on right now here.

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