Data centers and enterprise cloud computing are two of the hottest topics in the tech world today, and IaaS clouds are the solutions that help maximize the potential of these two wildly developing phenomena. Recent years have seen many organizations' reliance on big data and better data management take a leading role in driving business decision making. IaaS clouds, private managed servers and data virtualization have enabled many companies to scale to new heights without breaking the bank.

The trend of outsourcing key infrastructure to enterprise IaaS clouds and business data to offsite, colocation data centers is changing the way that data centers and related services are viewed in the industry. Case in point – data center expert Joe Reele recently discussed the way that data centers have evolved into dynamic, highly sophisticated operations, in an interview with The Data Center Journal. The interview was in response to an opinion held by some in the industry that data centers function more like utility companies or electricity resellers, essentially offering clients a place to store their servers and energy to power them. If this is the case, data centers would be regarded as utility companies and would be categorized and taxed as such.

Reele argued that these criticisms are off base, because data centers have evolved to provide a host of other services to their client base, including state-of-the-art cooling and power management services, as well as extra security and backup generators that are an important part of disaster recovery and business continuity planning. He also attributed the evolution of data centers to the rise of private enterprise cloud hosting and IaaS clouds, which use data center infrastructure and servers as part of their own dynamic offerings.

"Data centers such as cloud, managed hosting and colocation facilities offer companies a myriad of services beyond providing power, including but not limited to on-site security, infrastructure monitoring and management, application management, database management, and a flexible range of computing capabilities that can increase or decrease as needed," Reele told the news source. "These services are specific to the data center industry and are essential tools for managing an organization's IT infrastructure, growing business and operational functions, digital assets, and technological advancements."

The next generation of IaaS clouds
In addition to constructing a mutually beneficial relationship with data centers, IaaS clouds can help optimize data center assets for future challenges. Software-defined data centers are currently trending as an alternative to legacy systems that can be unwieldy and difficult to manage. According to All Things Digital contributor Ben Cherian, software defined data centers enable consolidation of the various networking, storage, management and security components that make up data center infrastructure. These entities can then be simply operated through an application programming interface (API), which can be either tenant-facing or managed by the cloud service provider, depending on an organization's cloud preferences.

"An infrastructure superhero might think, 'With great accessibility comes great power,'" Cherian wrote. "The data center of the future will be the software defined data center where every component can be accessed and manipulated through an API. The proliferation of APIs will change the way people work."