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The reports of the data center’s death have been greatly exaggerated. They are not dying. They are changing. They are evolving and transforming. One of the biggest drivers of this change is the arrival of edge computing which is creating new business opportunities.

Businesses are gathering and analyzing a massive amount of data at the edge and the traditional network infrastructure to backhaul all that data to a centralized location aka traditional data center is not efficient enough. The arrival of 5G may change that but there is a much bigger opportunity for companies to push rich analysis and data out closer to their customers.

This evolution of datacenter is sped by the covid-19 pandemic. The restrictions on sending out people to data centers for maintenance are creating serious issues around manageability and the ability to recover from operational and maintenance problems.

Another side-effect of covid-19 is that companies are now considering a hybrid workforce model and a majority of the workforce will operate from home. These companies need to bring applications, interfaces, and data closer to their employees.

The fact is, contrary to what cloud vendors want you to believe, data centers are going to grow at a pace we have never seen before. However, these won’t be your traditional data centers with the heavy costs of cooling, power, and hardware. These are going to be micro pops points of presence data centers that may be installed in places like a local branch of a bank. “These data centers need to be cost-effective, efficient, resilient to failure, and display some capability to self-heal for business continuity,” said Craig Chadwell, VP Product at SoftIron.

That’s where Chadwell thinks SoftIron shines because of its unique approach to building appliances with Ceph, which is designed to be a highly resilient and self-recovering software-defined storage solution.

“We have a particularly distinctive advantage because we build appliances that are tasks specific. It allows us to build the power, heat, and space profiles in a way that’s optimized for that particular task. Those optimizations happen to align really well with putting them into places where traditional data centers won’t fit,” said Chadwell.

SoftIron also has a clear edge over its competitors who offer software-only solutions based on open source. “Users get a very disconnected experience. What they really want is to buy and consume open source in the same “single throat to choke” appliance model that they get  from a closed source, proprietary vendor’s product,” added Chadwell, “SoftIron is converging those two experiences – hardware and open-source software – to make the entire use of the product over its lifecycle as seamless and simple to use as possible.”

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