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In recent years, the data center hasn’t gotten a lot of love. With many pundits predicting the death of on-premise infrastructures as businesses moved to the cloud, it seemed as if the data center’s days were numbered.

Yep, if the main focus of your company was to sell servers, storage, networks, and other IT infrastructure hardware, things weren’t looking too great.

But recently, we’ve seen an uptick in good news and attention for the good old data center. From trends in how organizations are building their IT infrastructures, to a flurry of big business deals, the data center is once again enjoying happy days.

One of the biggest trends leading to renewed interest and focus on the data center is, surprise surprise, the cloud. I know what you’re thinking, “Jim, wasn’t cloud supposed to kill the data center?”

Yes, that’s what everyone thought. The idea was that businesses would continue to move all their applications and services to the cloud, to the point where all the on-premise hardware they needed could fit in a small closet.

And companies are clearly embracing the cloud. But Aberdeen research has shown that adding the cloud to an organization’s IT mix doesn’t mean getting rid of on-premise data centers. In fact, the research shows that leaders in IT infrastructures are those that embrace a hybrid approach that effectively integrates the cloud with on-premise systems.

This allows these leading firms to get the best features of on-premise (security, performance, ease of management) and combine them with the best of cloud (agility, flexibility, and scalability). With this hybrid approach, leading businesses are gaining a number of key benefits, including reduced IT costs and increased user satisfaction.

Given the benefits that on-premise data centers are offering, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that data center vendors have become a sexy new target of mergers and acquisitions. In the last year, several very large deals have involved the purchase of a data center focused company.

Of course, the biggest was the deal by Dell to purchase EMC (along with their data center subsidiaries VMWare and RSA). But that wasn’t the only big data center deal. Among a number of large deals was the recent $5 billion dollar move by Broadcom to purchase Brocade.

All of these moves point to the continued importance of big data center systems like storage, servers, and networks. Usually, billions and billions of dollars aren’t invested in dying technology.

So enjoy your time in the spotlight data centers. Businesses have rediscovered that they just can’t live without you.

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