June 02, 2014

The cloud hasn't killed the company-owned data center.

Companies from General Motors to Fidelity are taking the best infrastructure ideas from Web giants such as Facebook and Google and adapting them to their very different business needs in order to build a new generation of data centers.

To highlight the different approaches and strategies these companies are taking, we looked at six companies beyond the Web giants that have made or are planning major data center investments. Our point isn't that data center construction is booming; Gartner forecasts only 2.3% growth in data center spending in 2014, to $143 billion. Companies will spend more than twice that on enterprise software, by comparison, at a growth rate of nearly 7%.

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But we are seeing a boom in data center innovation, and it's coming not just from Web and cloud service companies, but from conventional companies that still see running world-class data centers as part of their competitive advantage.

Here's an overview of the innovations that we'll explore in this slideshow:

Fidelity is opening a new data center in Nebraska this fall. The investment giant is one of the biggest advocates outside Silicon Valley for open source hardware, and the new building itself is a modular, just-in-time construction design.

General Motors spent $130 million on a new data center in Michigan, with a second one coming online this summer. It's a private-cloud-meets-mainframe operation, as the company supports both Web-ready apps and long-running legacy software.

[ Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek. ]