The applications of yesteryear were all in one place – generally on your desktop or on a server in a data center – but that is not the case today. Today’s applications are complex and interconnected, making the next generation of data center infrastructure crucial to their operation.

The data center infrastructure is constantly evolving to keep up with demands for a broader set of applications and deeper intelligence and solutions.

1. Applications reside everywhere.
Data centers are going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean that applications will be living there. Many applications nowadays exist in remote locations so they can be closer to the user or device but rely on infrastructure that depends on the function the application is fulfilling.

2. So does infrastructure.
Of course, because applications can reside everywhere, so can IT infrastructure – and it does. This decentralization provides quite a challenge for IT teams after years of infrastructure consolidation. Today’s solutions require simplification and automation of the infrastructure in the data center and wherever else the infrastructure lives.

3. The cloud.
If an application isn’t living in your data center, remote locations, or mobile device, then it’s bunking in the cloud. The cloud already holds more than an exabyte of data, and it’s getting stuffed with more, which means that the next generation of applications needs to move transparently between private and public clouds.

“There were 5 Exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days.”

– Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google

4. Too much data.
Applications are essentially data generations. But there’s a problem: they generate too much. This isn’t a bad problem to have (like being too smart), but it does mean that you need to find a new way to store all the data so it can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights.

5. Big data analytics.
Depending on what your business needs to accomplish – and the applications it needs to do so – IT can use big data and analytics to mine databases and social media information that can inform your decisions into the future.

“Big data is at the foundation of all megatrends that are happening today, from social to mobile to cloud to gaming.”

– Chris Lynch, former CEO, Vertica Systems