Top 9 data center forecasts to look forward to in 2021
Digital technologies are shaping the global economy in ways that were unimaginable and never seen before. Data centers are at the heart of these digital technologies, supporting their growth and development.
The importance of data centers cannot be overstated. In particular, during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, data center solutions have proven to be essential to ensure business continuity and connectivity in organizations in all countries. Data centers have supported the global economy – preventing it from collapsing by allowing people and organizations to transition to the new normal.
Today, as the pandemic drives the adoption of digital technologies, it would be interesting to see how these digital technologies trigger the growth of new data center trends.
The following article presents the top forecasts for data centers in 2021 and beyond.
Top 9 Data Center Forecasts in 2021
1. Increased demand for edge data centers
As remote working and smart technologies become part of everyday life, the demand for advanced computing is set to increase.
Smart devices such as smart sensors, autonomous vehicles, etc. generate a large amount of data that must be processed in real time. Let’s take the example of autonomous vehicles for clarity.
Autonomous vehicles like self-driving cars are producing data at lightning speed. Sending this data to the cloud for processing is difficult due to high latency issues. Here, on-board computer processing will help make faster decisions like changing lanes or avoiding a collision. This will be possible thanks to advanced computing.
This will also give rise to micro data centers at the edge of networks.
PwC, in one of its reviews, identified the following as drivers of edge data center adoption.
Image source: PwC
2. More demand for large-scale infrastructure
The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of almost all industries. Result? The demand for large-scale colocation and infrastructure has increased dramatically. A growing number of industries have encouraged the adoption of digital strategies to support the remote workforce and also to keep their operations running.
Healthcare can be the perfect example here.
While there was talk of digital transformation in healthcare before the pandemic hit, the real world scenario further confirmed this need.
Healthcare industries around the world are looking for agile cloud operations to manage and run lab operations and even to manage patient data.
The supply chain and logistics industries, which have also been hit hard during the pandemic, are now considering moving to the cloud to ensure seamless operations during these difficult times.
All of this will lead to a demand for more computations and therefore data centers. Hyperscalers like AWS, Google and Microsoft are already leading the pack making huge investments in data centers and also acquiring colocation space.
3. Sustainable data centers will be all the rage
As the data center industry grows larger, there is a growing discussion of green data center practices or sustainable data centers, which includes adopting practices that will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the company. ‘environment.
Multi-tenant data centers are considered one of the biggest consumers of electrical power.
According to reports, data centers in the United States alone consumed around 73,000 megawatts (MW) in 2020. The US Department of Energy further estimated that large multi-tenant data centers can require over 100 megawatts of electrical capacity, which is enough to power 80,000 US homes or a small town.
For this reason, data center infrastructure providers around the world must play a central role in reducing their environmental impact.
This may include steps such as using lithium-ion batteries to reduce climate change internationally.
Enterprise customers, who are more aware of the environmental impact of data centers, are more likely to follow a sustainable data center practice.
This trend is also being embraced by data center investors who are now turning to more sustainable data center portfolios. Big tech companies like Equinix have already started investing in green initiatives, and others are expected to follow suit.
4. 5G will drive the growth of data centers
The last few years have seen a lot of talk about 5G. While the parallel development of smart technologies and more connected IoT devices is driving demand for advanced computing, achieving it would seem a bit difficult without 5G.
The wait for the 5G rollout is having a domino effect on the growth of the data center. To truly benefit from 5G, data centers, as well as service providers, must rethink their infrastructure offerings and structure.
AI (artificial intelligence) and technologies based on machine learning would be more focused on processing the large amount of data produced by 5G. Not only that, but the processing will have to be done at the periphery. So we could see a shift from cloud-scale data centers to more localized, low-latency services.
5G is positioned to bring faster computing capacity to individual users and businesses.
5. Cloud and digital transformation will accelerate the data center industry
The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the digital transformation of organizations large and small. Most of the digital transformation takes place in the cloud.
The cloud has become the benchmark for companies’ digital strategies and goals.
As such, networking in data centers now needs to support more cloud-based applications and software.
The need for anytime, anywhere connectivity has also increased due to the growing number of employees who are definitely being moved to the remote working model.
Today, more than data centers, we are talking about data centers. It will be one of the most comprehensive data center predictions in 2021.
These applications and users decide where and when data is generated and processed. This is the reason why edge data centers seem so viable today.
6. Automation will grow
One of the most important data center forecasts to note this year is the growth in automation. Automation is the need of the hour. As businesses shift to remote working models and even the corporate supply chain shrinks, people will rely on more automated processes with less or no human intervention required.
Many data center infrastructure providers will depend on automation to maintain and record routine data center services, such as updating and remediation.
This dependence on automation will continue to grow in both hyperscalers and the edge data center space.
7. The data center as a service will tend
Today, customers are looking for new ways to consume services. This also applies to data center solutions.
They want to buy and maintain data center solutions in a consumption-based and pay-as-you-go model.
While public cloud providers already offer services in this model, data center providers now also need to offer more flexible ways of delivering their services.
The winners would be the first to adopt – that is, those who are able to sell their data center infrastructure in a new way.
8. Surveillance and visibility services will be in demand
There was a time when data centers were located on-premises, allowing organizations to closely monitor their resources and gain greater visibility.
But as data centers move to external locations and co-located spaces take center stage, surveillance and visibility tend to disappear. This is why these data center vendors have developed intelligent monitoring solutions to allow IT managers to have complete control and visibility over their data center infrastructure, even if they are are miles away from them.
These business intelligence software provide intelligent monitoring, tracking and access to usage patterns to their owners. The need for intelligent monitoring solutions for data centers will only increase in the future.
9. Rise of Software Defined Data Centers (SDDC)
A software-defined data center model refers to a data storage facility in which all elements of the infrastructure, including storage, networking, processor, and security, are virtualized and delivered as that service.
Here, the CPU and memory are decoupled from their underlying physical hardware. This creates a pool of resources to use whenever needed.
Each virtualized application is then encapsulated in a separate and isolated software container, which we call a virtual machine.
According to a report by Markets and markets, The global software-defined data center (SDDC) market size is expected to grow from $ 43.7 billion in 2020 to $ 120.3 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.4 % during the forecast period..
Image source: Markets and markets
SDDC provides a more agile, scalable, and secure network by allowing you to run and process applications in real time. It further simplifies data center management because everything from routers and switches to servers and storage is virtualized. This virtualization helps to increase the speed of delivery by automating many processes.
Currently, the SDDC market is dominated by large players like VMware, Oracle and Microsoft. We may see more players emerge in the years to come. It is also one of the more interesting data center forecasts for 2021.
Data center of the future
With the rapid advancement of digital technologies, it goes without saying that the data center industry is poised to experience significant growth.
But this time, this growth will be coupled with an increased demand for:
- Speed and availability
- Energy and efficiency
- Security and remote operations
Automated tracking and monitoring, followed by virtualization, points to a futuristic data center – where humans have little to no involvement after initial setup and configuration. Considering the current pandemic situation, this seems like the perfect solution for better business continuity.
Technologies such as AI and machine learning will further contribute to the automation of data center technologies in the future.
We hope you enjoyed reading the data center predictions. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Read more : Top 10 Best Data Center Service Providers In India 2021