Datacenters – Your Pendulum is a Ratchet

Author: Derek Kerton, Managing Partner of Kerton Group and Chairman of Telecom Council of Silicon Valley, @derekkerton

The Telecom Council held its monthly Roundtable meeting on Nov. 5 on Datacenters. Datacenters are hot these days, as lots of the bigger technology trends impact them directly. Cloud, Virtualization, Big Data, Analytics, XaaS, Elastic Compute, Streaming Video services, White Boxes…these ALL impact, change, and grow the importance of the Datacenter.

In our UNpanel format, the audience speaks first, indicating the topics of interest to them. This can be seen in the attached photo from the whiteboard, with audience topics in black, with interest votes in black checks. The ones that were top-of-list included:RT pic

  • Security
  • Telco Cloud
  • Services and Microservices
  • 10-year Predictions
  • Containers
  • Management

To make it lively, we score “points” as the panelists and audience add knowledge to a given topic, marked off in red checks.




One discussion point I’d like to recap is the conversation around “the pendulum”. We’ve all heard this one. That computing swings back and forth from computing at the edge to centralized computing, then back. Client/Server, PC, Thin clients, Javastations, Web Servers, Chrome OS, mobile networks, smartphones, etc. Onto this point, I added the fact that it’s not really a pendulum, because nothing ever get’s eliminated. It’s more of a “ratchet” in that we add to the core, then we add to the edge, then we add to the core, then the edge, core, edge…ad infinitum. The panel commented that what we should really expect to see is more computing power at both sides of the spectrum — that’s the long term trend. And datacenters are a critical part of that growth.

pendulum RatchetWe can expect to see growth in the “centralized” type of datacenter, but also in regional datacenters, all the way down to datacenters in the CO (Central Office). Some apps will demand low-latency and will be more distributed, while others demand security, and will be more centralized. Just as one brand of automobile isn’t enough to satisfy the various tastes and needs of the market, one kind of datacenter will not meet the market’s needs either.

Thanks to our panelists Prashant Gandhi @ppgandhiCliff Federspiel @FederspielDavid Wright @VMware, and to VMWare @VMware for hosting this lunch meeting.


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