What will move and shake the data center industry in 2018
Zahl Limbuwala, Co-Founder & Executive Director
2017 was eventful for the tech industry and data center market and 2018 should bring just as many interesting developments that shake the status quo and increase both competitiveness and efficiency for all players involved. Some of the main trends expected to make their mark and shift the industry to new directions are:
Edge data centers will start playing a critical role on the data center and cloud computing market because the IoT industry is developing at light speed and customers and companies generate huge amounts of data.
Edge data centers are not small versions of the same highly resilient data centers businesses have been building already, but rather localized compute and caching nodes for stateless applications. These facilities are important because businesses and data center operators need to support the increased pressure of IoT and the increase in edge applications and processing that 5G enables. Also, the demand for connectivity, bandwidth and low latency will increase exponentially in the following years as smart houses, offices, driverless cars and artificial intelligence become the new norm in our society.
Owning IT hardware will continue its decline in 2018 as well. Centralized cloud providers such as Google, AWS and Azure will continue to dominate more and more of the growing compute, storage and application capabilities out of the traditional enterprise data center.
Scale is king in the cloud game and most companies aren’t big enough to achieve scale to competitive levels. Also AI and machine learning will increase the demand for RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) compute and 2018 will see more specialised compute-as-a-service. Whether it’s Google’s Tensor Flow or AWS’s addition of FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) for AI applications, this specialist compute as a service market will put an even bigger gap between the big cloud players and the rest of the pack.
Microsoft and Google are leading the way towards making the data center industry more energy efficient and adopting modern green technological advancements.
The tech industry’s awareness of environmental sustainability has increased significantly over recent years and data centers are also facing more stringent compliance requirements. As a result, a major trend that will influence the data center landscape will be the rising demand for new technologies that increase facilities’ energy efficiency requirements and decrease their overall impact on the environment.
We’ve already seen many technological innovations and design developments that are enabling data centers to cut down CO2 emissions, energy, and water consumption. Tech leaders such as Amazon, Facebook,
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Through CBRE | Romonet's platform we have enabled our clients to precisely measure water efficiency, capacity, consumption and cost. As a result, many customers have significantly decreased their water consumption and overall costs.
Furthermore, by accurately modelling and simulating data center energy and total cost of ownership, in 2016-2017 CBRE | Romonet's platform helped customers save £3m+ on utility costs, reduce energy usage by 48,000 Mwh and decrease CO2 emissions by over 11,550 tons.
I’m looking forward to seeing the data center industry developing further in 2018 and what other trends will emerge in the near future.