Everything that happens online takes place in data centers. They facilitate a wide range of activities across government, business and society. Most of the things in various spheres of human activity such as energy, lighting, telecommunications, internet, transport, urban traffic, banks, security systems, public health, entertainment and even our physical integrity are enabled by data centers. So, it is not an exaggeration to say that the welfare and security of billions of human beings is dependent on data centers.
Since data centers are so vital for smooth functioning of digital economy and the connected world, their security and reliability remain a top priority for the organizations. So, enterprises should be very careful in choosing one for hosting their critical data.
Here are some of the elements, organizations or businesses should look for when they choose a data center:
– Availability: The most important thing when you host your data in a data center is your ability to access it all the time. In other words, an ideal data center should always remain at your disposal. The availability is measured in terms of Tiers, and Tier IV is the highest standard a data center could achieve, which commit 99.995 percent of availability, 26 minutes of scheduled downtime in 365 days. There are organizations, which audit and certify, if data center infrastructure is set-up to provide and commit such availability metrics.
– Security: Once it is ensured that data will be available all the time, keeping it secured is the next important concern. Security of the data needs to be considered in two aspects: data center physical security and cloud security. One must carefully choose the data center location to be safe from natural disasters like earthquakes, floods etc. On the cloud, data centers should be equipped with comprehensive SIEM software to protect data at all levels. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is the process of identifying, monitoring, recording, and analysing security events or incidents within a real time IT environment. Data centers should be continuously innovating in this area and should evaluate tools and techniques to protect the data, e.g., homomorphic encryption is the latest innovation, where data needs to be protected even when it is getting processed.
– Performance: Another important consideration is to see how quickly you can access your data – in other words, latency at which your data is accessed. This depends on the location of the data center & its proximity with fiber cable of the ISPs in the respective countries. Also, the network accelerator software that data center can provide to ensure data is retrieved in the shortest possible time. Again, there is a lot of innovation in this field especially when needs are increasing to transfer huge amounts of data across countries and continents.
– Modularity & Portability: Modular data centers – portable and deployable anywhere – are made up of modules that are purpose-engineered. The two most popular form factors are container facilities made up of pre-fabricated components that can be easily and quickly built on a site whenever capacity expansion is required. There are several reasons like ease of deployment, efficiency in operations, cost effectiveness etc, why you should consider investing in this increasingly popular infrastructure convergence approach for your business.
Edge Data Centers lay a strong foundation for Smart Cities
Let us look at some of the popular and emerging use cases of data centers especially in India. As we are aware, there are 100 plus Smart Cities announced and 500 plus Amrut towns being planned and data centers play a pivotal part in these plans. The ’smart city’ is an approach to urban development that deeply integrates digital technology to make urban services more efficient, reduce resource consumption, and help facilitate communication between governments and citizens.
While it is still too early to predict the extent to which smart cities will take hold across the globe, one thing is clear – data centers will be their foundation. Smart cities will generate huge amounts of data, which will grow exponentially – so it is fundamental that they have both the technical infrastructure in place to store this in data and a reliable power supply to keep everything working.
Also, Edge Data Centers are increasingly becoming popular and needed especially in development of Smart Cities. These data centers at the edge of the last-mile network allow the wired and wireless worlds to operate in tandem.
Data CenterAdoption for future
The global data center construction market accounted for US$ 43.7 Bn in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.2 percent during the forecast period 2018 – 2025, to account for US$ 92.9 Bn in 2025.
The data center construction market is broadly classified into types of construction, tier standards, industry verticals and geography.
North America is one of the prominent regions in data center construction equipment market which will contribute highest revenue globally due to technological developments and considerable application of data centers in different industry vertical segments. Rapidly growing economies in Asia-Pacific (APAC) with significant growth in construction sector will pave the path for increasing adoption and propel the market for data center construction market. The APAC region is expected to lead the market with highest CAGR during the forecast period.
In my view here are some of the trends that future data centers will adopt:
– Smaller Data Centers: According to a popular survey with over 800 data center professionals to generate the findings for data Center 2025, sixty seven percent of participants believed at least 60 percent of computing would be cloud-based in the year 2025. It is also likely that enterprise data centers would shrink in size; 58 percent expect that data centers will be half the size of current facilities or smaller, while 10 percent of participants believe the enterprise data center of 2025 will be one-tenth the size of current facilities.
– Forty one percent people expect a combination of air and liquid to be the primary method of data center cooling. Only 20 percent people see ambient air, or free cooling, becoming the primary means of thermal management and just 9 percent people feel the rise of immersive cooling.
– Renewable Energy in Data Centers: Experts believe a mix of sources will be used to provide electrical power to data centers. Solar will lead, followed by a nearly equal mix of nuclear, natural gas and wind.
– Less of Colo and more of Cloud:Industry experts predict two-thirds of data center computing will be done in the cloud in 2025 than in colocation. That’s actually a fairly conservative estimate.
– Prominent Role of DCIM: Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) is the amalgamation of IT and building facilities functions within an organization. experts anticipate comprehensive visibility across all systems and layers, while some expect data center to be self-healing and self-optimizing. Taken together, that would indicate 72 percent of the experts believe some level of DCIM will be deployed in 2025 — significantly higher than most current estimates of DCIM adoption.
– Innovation and Automation: More and more innovation will happen in terms of reducing the power usage in the data centers and increasing the automation of services to end user, improving efficiency and time-to market for customers.