These Shifts Will Shape The Future Of Data Centersby@evan4morris

These Shifts Will Shape The Future Of Data Centers

by Evan MorrisMarch 22nd, 2021
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According to Gartner, the spending on data centre infrastructure is supposed to grow 6% in 2021 after a steep decline of 10.3% in 2020.The reduced demand in data infrastructure is expected to come back in 2021 once the workforce gets back to the site, according to Naveen Mishra, a senior research director at Gartner.

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According to Gartner, the spending on data centre infrastructure is supposed to grow 6% in 2021 after a steep decline of 10.3% in 2020.
The reduced demand in data infrastructure is expected to come back in 2021 once the workforce gets back to the site, according to Naveen Mishra, a senior research director at Gartner.

The 2020 decline can be attributed to the shortage of cash flow with companies because of the pandemic. Additionally, because of the government mandate worldwide lockdowns, 60% of planned constructions of new data centres couldn’t come to fruition, which also contributed to the decline in growth.

Still, the entire market of data centre infrastructure is expected to grow through 2024 despite the aftershocks of pandemic every industry is feeling. The future of the data centre industry will be built on the foundation of massive changes in data needs. Since every company is forced to adapt remote working culture, they will require robust data infrastructure to cater to their organizational needs and maintain their
operational excellence.

The transformations in digital needs and technologies happening now are going to continue for the next few years, which will set the course for the data centre industry.

According to Naveen, the priority of companies is to keep the lights on, which is the reason data centre growth is being pushed a little further until the economy enters the recovery period. He further added that Garner expects larger enterprise data centre sites to hit a pause temporarily and then resume expansion later this year or early next. And we can expect hyperscalers to continue their global expansion plans because of the continued investments in the public cloud.

The current value of the data industry is approximately $32 billion, and it’s expected to reach closer to $59 billion by 2025. Clearly, the entire industry is positioned to grow tremendously and the following are the major trends and developments that we can expect to see in the coming years.

1) Going green

The data centres, especially enterprise sites, might invest in renewable sources as their focus shifts to responding to sustainability issues. We can expect many innovations around the renewable energy sources that will help power various aspects of maintaining data centres. There are growing concerns about water usage in the data centre locations, along with increasing emissions and energy consumption.

To become environment friendly and energy-efficient, the data centres could trap the heat emitted from data servers and use them as a supplemental power source. This might be a huge undertaking capital and research & development-wise but such initiatives are necessary to bring positive changes. The government can also pitch in by providing incentives for implementing such initiatives.

2) Automation

Data centre automation refers to the automation of data centre processes like scheduling, monitoring, maintenance, and more. These processes will be managed and executed with no human interference.

The automation of these processes increases the agility and operational efficiency of data centres, enabling them to solve one of the growing concerns that are staffing.

The pandemic sped up the growth of automation in this industry to reduce human contact. Several companies have taken up such initiatives. TRG DataCenters are also investing in increasing their remote capabilities for routine and maintenance services like patching and updating.

3) Colocation

Big companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix have taken many initiatives to go green, and data centre companies are not far behind. To maintain sustainability and reduce the environmental impact of their operations, the data centre companies are making a shift to colocation. The trend is also fueled by the growing complexities and costs of
maintaining on-premise data centres. This also allows them to share the IT
workloads with other providers as they try to make better financial and
environment-friendly decisions.

We can also expect the companies to rethink the utilization of their office space as the remote working culture becomes the new normal. The companies would want their IT stacks to support their, now, distributed operations and workforce for which they will have to make their data infrastructure independent of their offices. Because of this, there will grow demand for services like high-speed connectivity, specialized cooling, reserves of concentrated power, space, and scalability.

4) Hyperscale experiencing hyper-growth

With around $17 billion investment in the public cloud and pandemic-induced digitization of almost every industry, the demand for hyperscale vendors is expected to grow tremendously alongside colocation services. The rising demand will be majorly from Europe and Asia-Pacific region. As a matter of fact, the IP traffic of data centres, collectively, is estimated to reach 20.6 ZB by the end of 2021, and to think it was just 72B in 2016.

The expected growth in demand for hyper-scale can also result from the growing IT infrastructure needs of the healthcare industry. This pandemic has highlighted the need for digitalization and automation in hospitals and research facilities. This is an industry where real-time insights can save a person’s life.

5) Edge Computing

With the growing adoption of smart technologies in homes and businesses, the future for edge cloud computing is also looking promising. With the IoT market valuation expected to reach $50 billion by 2022, the demand for speed, reliability, and connectivity will grow parallelly. From this trend, we can expect similar growth rates for the demand in edge computing.

Closing notes

The destination looks bright and promising for the data centre industry, nevertheless, the road is going to be long and rocky. To recover from the lost opportunities of 2020, get innovative in their actions.

To help get started, here are three actions from Gartner:

  • Start investing in the new go-to-market to drive innovation for digital natives. You can improve mind share with digital natives by improving consumption-based and hybrid IT pricing models.
  • Train your sales force to reengage with chief financial and procurement officers by taking cost optimization initiatives like optimizing cloud costs, consolidating IT, and IT contract renegotiations.