This year, the data centre industry has seen and conquered a number of trends that had been predicted to push it to bigger and better heights. With Brexit, the Internet of Things and colocation acting as some of the main focuses for the year, it’s time to start looking into what 2017 may hold for the data centre arena.
The Rise of Edge Data Centres
In 2016, people were touting the idea of the underwater data centre but the future remains far closer to home and less of a pipe dream. The “edge data centre” such as a data centre located within a city with extremely high footfall - is now far more likely to be where businesses turn, making the idea of data security less of a dive into unknown waters.
Seamless streaming is now a performance indicator for big brands. Gaming, music and video companies need to be able to guarantee 100% uptime and no buffering to customers. As a result, the need for more efficient, secure and technologically-advanced data centres close to people is increasing. In today’s society, consumers demand access to content when and where they want – with scant regard for technological difficulties. Instant access, where data users are able to stay connected, has become an imperative for content providers all over the world. Competition between media companies and the overall industry, in addition to the increase of consumer data usage, drives the need for more edge data centres to be built.
With the rise of edge data centres, more technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence and driverless cars are no longer considered to be an aspect of the distant future. By bringing data closer to users, data centres that do adopt the concept of edge data centre will enable high data using ideas such as driverless cars to become a reality within the automation industry sooner rather than later.
The Risks of Upgrading or not Upgrading Legacy Data Centres
Out with the old and in with the new. Throughout 2016, a number of data centres all over the globe have experienced data outages, causing customers to question the quality and age of the equipment used within each facility. In 2017, data centres owners will need to re-evaluate the equipment used to store customer data and be prepared to issue assurances that there will be no data outages. These are becoming deal-breakers for a majority of customers. With a demand for 100% uptime from consumers and the increase in daily data usage, pressure is on to ensure connectivity.
This increasing spotlight on performance means data centres must consider new methods to avoid similar outages in the future. As a result, legacy equipment must slowly be filtered out of older enterprise data centres, giving way to newer, more advanced technology and equipment that will enable more computing in a smaller footprint. Data centres can take advantage of the High Performance Computing strategies through which they will be able to enable advanced, resource intensive applications to be run efficiently, quickly and sustainably, and effectively reducing processing times from hours to minutes through processing power division.
However, with every new development comes a level of risk. In the case of new equipment being introduced to legacy operating data centres, customers should be conscious of possible disruptions or unexpected service changes during the implementation period, forcing the need for clear and open communication between provider and customer. An improved service will soon lose its sparkle if it required downtime that damaged a company’s reputation first.
The Rise of Colocation Demand
As society becomes more and more dependent on interconnectivity, the colocation market is set to see an outstanding increase in demand. Growing popularity of technology such as Cloud and Artificial Intelligence is causing companies to invest in more colocation and data centres space rather than building and running their own centres. A recent study carried out by 451 Research states that by the end of 2017 the amount of data centre colocation space will increase from 108.9million square feet, reported in 2015, to an estimated 149.7million square feet. The study also predicts that the annual revenue for the colocation market will rise to $36 billion by 2017.
The modern data centre is set to undergo big changes in 2017. Companies are now accepting the need and practicalities of outsourcing the care of their IT equipment to third parties, but it is more imperative than ever that those partners have the right infrastructure, service levels and set-up. Location, performance and technical excellence all underpin the choices a business will make when outsourcing to a data centre. These can’t be underestimated and in 2017, we will see the rise of the ‘super data centre’ – delivering a service like no other. Those legacy data centres that don’t invest and update to keep up will be left standing in the wake of facilities that can offer exactly what this new breed of customer needs.