The pandemic has changed the global business landscape. Scalability and growth have become crucial factors of the modern business realm. Data centers have become an integral part of a business’s scheme of things amidst the rising competition. That said, businesses have to be cautious while selecting their data center partners. ‘Data is business’ in the 21st century and hence, the safety and well-being of your business depend directly on the service provider or colocation partner you choose.
It is extremely important for you to be aware of all the latest technologies that impact modern data centers. It helps you assess a data center before selecting it for your business. We have compiled a list of technology trends that will shape the future of data centers. The list will help you understand how these technologies are going to impact data centers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the growth of the worldwide data center market. According to a report, the market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.5% during the 2021 – 2026 period. It is poised to attain a global value of $251 billion by 2026.”
What are the top technology trends transforming data centers in 2021?
The data demands amongst modern businesses are increasing day by day. These demands are getting translated to the increased data center demands across the world. Amidst this, it becomes important for us to keep an eye on the innovations happening in and around data centers. The following are the top 10 technology trends that will dictate data center design, management, and functionality in 2021 and beyond:
1) Server Virtualization
With an aim to bring down infrastructure burdens, many managed service providers (MSPs), as well as data centers, are migrating to Software-Defined Data Centers (SDDCs). In an SDDC model, virtualization technologies are used to recreate the computing powers and storage in software form.
Server virtualization permits data centers and service providers to house multiple users on a single server by segmenting servers, contrary to the traditional, inefficient way of issuing one server to each user. The virtualization also facilitates scalability as the workloads are distributed across multiple servers.
This model effectively works as a cloud model where the service provider can parcel out data storage and processing power on an ‘as required’ basis. Virtualization also optimizes efficiency by making sure that the resources are being utilized to their fullest.
2) Edge Computing
Centralized data processing becomes inefficient and economically unviable as the number of connected devices increases. Edge computing is a data center architecture that utilizes the processing power of devices on the network edge for resolving actions and requests.
Edge data centers bring down latency and improve the overall performance of all the connected IoT (Internet of Things) devices. The users also experience less service interruption.
Edge computing is one of the most prominent technological developments for data centers. While 2021 may not be the ‘big bang’ year for the technology, it will certainly be a year of greater strategic foothold. Big players like American Tower and AWS (Amazon Web Services) are moving towards the deployment phase and have the required resources to make a big impact on edge computing and the way it evolves.
3) Hybrid Cloud
To be able to get the best of both the public as well as the private cloud, more and more companies are moving towards hybrid cloud deployments. The private cloud brings great control and security while the public cloud offers expansive computing powers.
With a hybrid cloud architecture, service providers can keep and manage critical data and resources on secure private servers and move them to a public server for different processing requirements.
Data analytics is becoming an integral part of businesses. Amidst this, an architecture that provides easy and secure access to cloud-based services is paramount to a successful business.
4) Artificial Intelligence (AI)
No other technology impacts the efficiency of a data center as much as Artificial Intelligence (AI) does. Sophisticated AI programs optimize the performance of a data center. Through predictive analytics, AI identifies areas of concern and connects them with different processes and energy usage.
Google was able to cut down 40% of its data center’s cooling costs just by controlling the cooling infrastructure through AI programs. AI gives facility managers a clear picture of the health of all the data center components. That way, they are able to repair or replace components that need attention.
The unprecedented times like the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the adoption of automated processes and remote management. Troubleshooting of the inefficiencies of the network as well as the infrastructure is already automated.
With companies aiming to achieve higher productivity and efficiency while involving minimal human resources, data center automation will play a vital role in the future. Moreover, automation gives workers more time to focus on other critical tasks.
6) Intelligent Monitoring
Intelligent monitoring is another trend you will only see growing in the future. Companies have started to use intelligent, automated, and live monitoring methods that help them access their data using a simple mobile application. The real-time information helps you predict your requirements and problematic areas effectively.
7) Hyperscale Data Centers
With increasing volumes of data to handle, data centers are becoming exponentially scalable. Such data centers that can scale up quickly to meet the increasing demands are called hyper-scale data centers.
In hyper-scale data centers, companies can replace single components as against the conventional method where the entire server has to be replaced. This not only cuts down the costs but also reduces the downtime.
Moreover, companies can add components modularly to quickly scale up operations in hyperscale data centers. It provides great flexibility to the users. Hence, hyperscale data centers are set to have a dramatic impact on all facets of the data centers in the coming years.
8) 5G Network
Fifth-generation of the mobile communication network, popularly called 5G, is finally a reality now. The dawn of 5G will facilitate faster data speeds and prompt access which will further strengthen the case for edge computing.
While the network components, software, and hardware will have to be upgraded for making the data centers compatible with the 5G network, the benefits it promises will more than makeup for the associated costs.
9) Chip-level Security
The widespread availability of the internet has also resulted in increased security concerns like cyberattacks. These growing concerns have led companies to look for innovative solutions to safeguard data centers. Global tech giants like Google are attempting to bring chip-level security.
A concerted project, named OpenTitan, aims to develop trustworthy chip designs to be used in data centers. According to Google, chip-level security will ensure that both the hardware and software are in their intended, incorruptible shape. The system will ensure that important components boot safely with verifiable, authorized codes.
Hence, security at the chip level will make sure that the server boots with the accurate firmware and are protected against any low-level malware. This is what makes it one of the top data center trends to keep an eye on.
10) Green Data Center
A data center with maximum energy efficiency and minimal environmental influence is called a green data center.
Data center investors and stakeholders are equally committed to bring sustainable solutions that are in line with climate resilience. They are all becoming an important part of the green energy revolution.
This sets a new trend where we can expect more and more data centers to begin investing in renewable resources and methods that reduce emissions as well as power consumption.
Data centers are of critical importance to the present business scene. While their demands were always on an upward trajectory, the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed it further up.
Similar to every other segment in and around IT, data center technologies are changing rapidly to achieve a highly optimized and effective system. It is therefore very crucial for you as a business owner to remain updated on each of these technological changes and trends. After all, they are going to shape the future of data centers.