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GCN : January 2014
GCN JANUARY 2014 • GCN.COM 23 the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab, which has built what could be the most efficient --- and coolest --- data center in the world. Its Golden, Colo., Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), which starts its first full year of operation in 2014, was designed for researching how to best use renewable energy. While innovation in agency data center designs will be crucial for efficient data center operations, new techniques for virtualizing various data center components may be even more disruptive. Driven by advances in software defined network- ing, this trend could dramatically shrink traditional data center architectures, experts say. "The software-defined data center is where all infrastructure has been virtualized, and the management of that infrastruc- ture is completely controlled by software that is driven by poli- cies," said Doug Bourgeois, chief cloud executive for VMware's U.S. public sector division in an interview earlier this year. "What this emerging trend is essentially doing is taking what has happened over the last 15 years with server virtualization and bringing that to the network and storage levels. Once these three levels of the infrastructure have been virtualized, the data center becomes orders of magnitude more agile than ever before." 8. PLAN FOR THE INTERNET OF THINGS. The Internet of Things is more than a buzzword; it is becoming a reality. IDC estimates worldwide government spending on the IOT will be $1.2 trillion by 2017. In fact, public-sector uses are expected to be one of the leading factors in IOT expansion, contributing to an annual growth rate of 10.6 percent from 2014 to 2017. IOT growth will have a measurable impact on data volumes, storage and infrastructure-as-a-service discussions. The IOT's data streams will come from sensors in roads, bridges, parking spaces, buses and subway cars as well as networked street or traffic lights, garbage bins, HVAC systems, building lights and other building systems. There's also a growing amount of content related to situ- ational awareness supporting the IOT, including security video, mobile apps and more. The IOT will deliver high value in areas like defense and public safety, environmental and disaster monitoring/detection, energy efficiency and trans- portation. But government agencies need to plan for this growth. Ex- panding into the cloud to mange data from these new solutions is the most likely course of action. "More and more devices will be connected to the Internet," said Georgia Tech's Paul Royal. Increasingly, they will be communicating with each other with- out going through their users or administrators. "We need to have a thoughtful understanding of what the security implica- tions might be." As these interacting systems become more diverse and complex, the focus of security will also have to shift from the systems to the data. Royal said he is afraid that security will be a secondary consideration in the process of wiring (and unwir- ing) the world and will not be taken seriously until there is a crisis. "Same old, same old, I'm afraid." #8 #7