What is Data-Centric Computing?

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Data-Centric computing is a relatively new concept that pertains to the increasing demand for information systems that can address organizational needs regarding storage, retrieval, transfer, and processing of rapidly expanding data sets. In contrast to inflexible and rigid application-centric models of computing, data-centric computing seeks to provide flexible, scalable computing resources for use in data center infrastructures. In this article, we will explore the concept of data-centric computing and discuss its significance for the broader web hosting industry.

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Data-Centric Computing: Paradigm Shift

Prior to the emergence of data-centric computing methodologies, the vast majority of information systems were designed as application-centric utilities. These purpose-built systems were inflexible and usually poorly maintained but mostly effective at storing small amounts of fixed data sets. Until recently, this methodology was sufficient for most purposes. As data demands have grown and the amount of data managed by organizations has exponentially increased, a new framework for information systems is crucial. This is where data-centric computing has flourished.

Data-centric computing seeks to resolve two separate problems with the previous paradigm. The first is that organizations are unable to utilize all available data if they do not have sufficiently flexible and responsive information systems. The second is that data center hardware needs to be able to meet the demands of increasingly data-centric operations. To resolve data utilization bottlenecks, data-centric computing seeks to innovate flexible, responsive solutions that will allow organizations to fully utilize all available data. 

As data-centric computing is an emerging field of research, relatively new technologies such as containers and microservices seek to provide the agility and flexibility required for data-centric operations. To resolve the data center hardware bottlenecks that restrict full utilization of data resources, new hardware paradigms must also be adopted by providers. This includes the development of more powerful hardware such as CPUs and GPUs as well as more flexible provisioning of hardware resources. 

Meeting the Moment: Data-Centric Hardware and Software

In order to keep pace with increasingly demanding data operations, data centers have adapted in the following ways:

  • Distributed services have become more commonplace, with services spread across multiple nodes. These nodes can function as either compute or storage resources, bolstering the data-throughput and storage capabilities of the system as a whole.
  • New processor hardware is being developed to boost performance and reduce computing loads on CPUs. This takes the form of increasingly powerful CPU hardware as well as GPU-based computing solutions that leverage parallel processing to drastically increase data processing throughput.  
  • New technologies like NVMe drives are becoming industry standards. NVMe drives are faster and more reliable than older storage technologies, increasing their data storage and throughput potential.
  • Improvements in computer form factors allow for more compact and efficient hardware arrangements, thereby optimizing space utilization and resource management. These changes help facilitate the integration of high-performance components and improve cooling mechanisms, contributing to the sustained growth of data processing capabilities.

As data-centric computing continues to be adopted by data centers and IT organizations, we will continue to see flexible and responsive innovations in the fields of computer hardware, software, and data infrastructure. Now that you have a better understanding of data-centric computing and what it means for the broader web hosting industry, you can better decide which web hosting solution is right for you.

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