Trends come and go even in the data center world. These trends consist of everything from reconfiguring the center for energy efficiency to taking new security measures in light of the National Security Agency’s spying controversy. Data center managers and IT administrators have a lot to think about and often approach problems in a strategic way.

Admins and managers have numerous operational choices to consider, and the cost of upgrading and expanding the data center relies heavily on the business’s return on investment. Some trends stay on point, such as the need for improved energy efficiency. However, other trends remain optional, such as choosing a hybrid cloud environment. With a clear road map and new trends presenting greater benefits, the IT world seems brighter than ever.

The Top 5 Data Center Trends for IT Directors and Admins

1. Virtualization

This first trend optimizes the data center in a variety of ways: It saves money, reduces energy consumption and decreases the need for large space. Both large and small data centers everywhere have jumped on the virtualization bandwagon, making this trend the top choice among admins and managers. Although managers have to choose the appropriate software and spend money to move to virtualization, it pays for itself in the end with reduced energy and operational costs.

2. Cloud Computing

Some data center managers consider cloud computing only as an option, whereas others see it as part of a viable solution for modernizing the business. The cloud trend has ramped up and adds value to many data centers. As a data center requires constant updates and changes its goals, so does cloud computing. It allows a data center to grow without the need to purchase costly programs and new software licenses. Cloud computing also lets the business do more work in less time and with fewer people.

3. Tighter Security

The NSA proved that data security isn’t as secure as people would have hoped. Therefore, data managers have to take strict measures to ensure that consumer information remains protected not only from hackers but also from the NSA. Larger data centers have stepped up their encryption efforts to combat these security threats. IT directors now focus even more on security, making sure that consumers understand that all efforts are made to ensure their information remains secure.

4. Green IT Sustainability

Data center managers everywhere have already made the transition or plan to convert to green IT. The term green IT refers to practicing environmentally sustainable and friendly computing. In other words, do what it takes to reduce costs and decrease the data center’s effect on the environment. This new trend includes everything from adopting new cooling techniques to making the move to virtualization and using less hardware. Since the IT industry accounts for nearly 10 percent of the world’s energy consumption, green IT plays an important role in reducing energy costs and the data center’s carbon footprint.

5. Flash Storage Migration

Flash handles data transfer rates much faster than traditional spinning disks. However, flash storage costs much more. Data center managers have always had to weigh the options between flash’s performance and its cost. A developing trend shows more data centers migrating to flash storage through vendors who offer it for much lower prices. Because of this, data centers gain better storage performance at prices that are equal to spinning disks.

While trends do change, the few listed here may stay on the minds of IT admins and data center managers for many years to come. While most managers need a compelling ROI to justify the need to optimize their data center, choosing any one of these trends can significantly alter their business from the start. From virtualization and reducing costs and space to cranking up security measures and transitioning to green IT, there has never been a better time to optimize the data center and reap the rewards of a functional and efficient workplace.

What trends are you utilizing in your datacenter? Tell us below.

Author Bio:

Matt Smith works for Dell and has a passion for learning and writing about technology. Outside of work he enjoys entrepreneurship, being with his family, and the outdoors.