Software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities are to become much more prevalent in the data centre over the next 12 months, according to BT's director of data centre strategy and platform, Adam Low.
Low, who was speaking on a panel at Computing's Data Centre Summit in London today, said that vendors are creating new and interesting SDN solutions for the datacentre.
"SDN is an interesting technology; there are engineering folks who might say that the technology had arrived before any use cases, but I think there is a case of automating everything - at the moment even with many services being automated, there are manual processes in place. In addition there is more need for 100 per cent uptime - gone are the days where [BT] can have maintenance on Saturday evenings," he said.
"SDN or software defined-storage will unlock some new exciting things, and a couple of vendors have some exciting things on the horizon to make operations easier and to truly virtualise storage, in the next six to 12 months," he added.
Low explained that BT was not seeing demand for software-defined storage from its customer base, but that its staff were looking at it from an internal perspective to improve its operational processes.
But while so-called new technologies may be being introduced to the datacentre, organisations are still looking at virtualising their servers, an area of IT that has been talked about for a number of years.
"It doesn't surprise me that with something like server virtualisation, we're not as far beyond the curve as people think [in its implementation]. [The take-up of new technology] takes a long time," said Rob Coupland managing director UK of TelecityGroup, who was also on the panel.
Kenneth Byrne, head of IT services at Moneycorp, said that the number of organisations that are virtualising their servers would continue to increase.
"For server virtualisation [there will be an increase] because the benefits are too great," he said.
Byrne explained that Moneycorp had finished virtualising its servers, and that now the firm had a more consistent architecture enabling it to move its servers across to another environment easily.