What the future holds
According to Gartner Data Center Conference

2017 Gartner Data Center Conference: A young professional's insight

By: Ryan Steele | Strategic Account Executive – CABLExpress

As a young professional in this ever-changing technology world, the ceiling of learning is endless. Attending this year’s Gartner Data Center conference did not disappoint. It was yet another reminder that staying current on the latest IT trends is critical!

At a minimum, conversations with high-level IT executives at various Fortune 500 entities provided insight into their everyday challenges, short and long-term plans, and conference takeaways. It is rare to have intricate conversations with IT executives – so I was all ears.

Conferences such as this can get hectic, especially for these professionals. Their willingness to share and talk with the CABLExpress team was greatly appreciated. They had a full schedule from classes to meetings, with limited time on the show floor. Taking time to discuss in detail their success and challenges was extremely valuable.

Decisions, decisions

Stepping outside the CABLExpress booth, the choices were endless. I'll start with the most delicious one - donuts. During the exhibit showcase hours, they had a "donut buffet" spread. Chefs were preparing donuts covered with topping and sweets of your choosing. From a classic glaze donut to crazy, delectable combinations - you could eat a donut that was perfect for your tastebuds.

The variety of sessions that were being offered at the conference were much the same, from simplistic to multifaceted. Most of these sessions were set around the buzz words we hear on a daily basis.

Software-driven technologies, to put some into layman terms, that were included:

  • Cloud
  • Edge Computing
  • DCIM
  • Agility

No matter what session you attended, the subject matter provided relevant insight. In today’s converging IT world, silos are constantly crossing over and intertwined. Being cross-trained in multiple topics areas such as the ones discussed will be increasingly valuable.

Saving face

The attendees that I met inside the CABLExpress booth were amazing. Some have been doing this longer than I have been alive, and many have been in the business well beyond my tenure. So, interacting with this type of audience was truly a valuable experience in itself.

The face-to-face discussions seem to have lost its zest over the years with the large advancements in unified communication. E-mail, WebEx, Telepresence, you name it. Very rarely do we meet face-to-face anymore. However, I believe these person-to-person interactions may be the most beneficial of all. Engagement is easier and follow-up discussion points are more natural. Mutual beneficial takeaways are had for all!

I quickly realized early in my data center world career that CABLExpress layer one cabling is a small, but vital, piece of the overall IT pie. It is a big part of the foundation for any data center. As talk at the conference centered around software applications and moving to the cloud, it was reaffirming to hear from attendees that layer one cabling continues to be important part of their datacenter foundation.

What the future holds

To get a view into Gartner's futuristic trends and current bridges of getting there, added to the week's education. Here are some highlights that I thought were important:

  • 85% of private clouds aren’t clouds
  • By 2021, 25% of enterprises will have deployed a micro data center.
  • Moving to public cloud not often will save money
  • By 2020, less than 5% of enterprise will have a true private cloud
  • IOT will go to $2M+ by 2021
  • IaaS workloads will suffer at least 60% fewer security incidents than traditional data centers

Whenever going to conferences and sessions, such as the Gartner Data Center conference, it is impressive to see what IT professionals deal with and what they are tasked to learn. It makes you appreciate their line of work that much more. The interaction with attendees and learning some things along the way made attending the Gartner Data Center conference a personal success for me.


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