With cloud computing, colocation and other data center services gaining popularity, more businesses are combining internal IT systems with third-party solutions. This is creating what experts have labeled the "data center without walls" movement.
The data center without walls term puts traditional models of IT management with emerging technological trends. In typical IT setups, businesses tend to have data centers that fit neatly within a server closet or other dedicated space. The data center exists within strict literal walls and logical walls, as all of the data is kept strictly within the corporate firewall and carefully secured if it leaves the network.
This model had its place in IT, but times have changed. Data consumption rates have risen considerably in recent years and many businesses are facing new technological demands. Along with these new challenges, companies face new costs.
With data center expenses rising, many companies are turning to alternative ways to host their IT systems that improve functionality, but cost less to run. This has accelerated the data center without walls movement, as information systems are increasingly placed in colocation centers, based in the cloud or accessed through some other third-party service. These solutions have expanded the scope of the data center beyond its traditional walls and fueled innovation.