A new decade is here, and we are witnessing the data economy taking over the world. As remote working and hyper-connectivity aim to expand opportunities for enterprise networks and moves data processing to the edge, technology leaders are reimagining their data centers to stay in the race. Recent news reports by Forbes and Vertiv mentioned that there is a lack of readiness to upgrade data center infrastructure which impacts. Only 11% of CXOs and 1% of engineers believe their data centers are ahead of the curve and primed for higher data volumes.
Today, the conversation around data centers sits at the heart of energy efficiency and burgeoning data economy enabled by digitization. By integrating the advanced technologies and leveraging the increasingly attractive economics of renewables and the increased efficiencies of artificial intelligence, data centers are paving a path for a better ecosystem.
With such promising opportunities, Puneet Gupta, Managing Director, NetApp India Marketing and Sales, crystal gazes into the next decade to tell us more about what could be the new paradigm for Datacenters, allowing CIOs to think futuristic and strategize way ahead for the next one decade.
- Power of Automation: Automation can make day-to day operations almost autonomous, eliminating the need for manual monitoring and remediation. Ideally, the data center provider would have API access to the infrastructure, enabling it to inter-operate with public clouds so that customers could migrate data or workloads from cloud to cloud. Data center automation will be predominantly delivered through software solutions that grant centralized access to all or most data center resources. Traditionally, this access enables the automation of storage, servers, network, and other data center management tasks.
- Economies of Scale: With the convergence of compute and storage infrastructure that is easy to deploy and manage, Hyper Converged Infrastructure will deliver predictable performance on a highly flexible, efficient architecture that is simple to deploy and manage. CIOs will be able to unleash the true power of their infrastructure by simplifying management and independently scaling both compute and storage resources. The hyper converged architecture should be Data Fabric–ready andout of the box, so that enterprises can access all their data across any cloud—public, private, or hybrid.
- Carbon neutral future: The environmental footprint of the industry must go through transformation. Data centers use up almost 1-1.5% of global electricity usage which is equivalent to 0.3% of human generated CO2 emissions. For data center service providers, the journey towards sustainable infrastructure with a goal to achieve lower power usage effectiveness has already begun. The green transformation will enable a more sustainable and climate neutral, with almost 100% energy efficiency.
- Hyperscale Data Center: Much like we want a service through an application to be executed in a fast and efficient manner, businesses today require the same speed from their IT infrastructure to scale up and down as and when necessary. In such a scenario hyperscale data centers will be much in demand, given their advantage in helping enterprises to scale rapidly. Hyper scale data center adopts a plug and play approach towards IT infrastructure wherein the organizations have the freedom to choose individual components to design their data center and not entire servers which leads to cost optimization.
- 5G, the new normal: 5G will play a huge role in changing the fundamentals of data center infrastructure in the coming years, once it is fully operational. Data centers will require computing architectures that can handle the bandwidth requirement of 5G services. Data will also come at a much faster speed which will require augmented storage, backup, and recovery options. CIOs will therefore need to choose intelligent data centers which are flexible and distributed as cloud storage will be at the epicentre of 5G revolution
- Cloudification: Research reveals that in the years between 2000 and 2019, the average spending growth for data centers was only 4 per cent, but for cloud services it was 56 per cent. The way we use data centers is constantly evolving with the technology that we use to enable data collection. The next stage for the data center is to embrace the interaction between private and public cloud, IoT, edge computing and 5G within a true hybrid solution. The future of the data center, in either edge or hyperscale form, lies within hybrid and multi-cloud structures.
- On the Edge: Future innovation relies on smaller data centers placed closer to the user. Imagine proximity of data for connected cars, autonomous driving, Smart City, or Industry 4.0 (i.e., the management of factories with smart computing power) right near the user. In the future, data centers can be placed in houses of smart cities or in a smart factory to provide computing power.
Going forward modern and mission critical applications will require intelligent data center management as the world prepares itself for any further future disruptions specially after the lessons, we have learnt from the ongoing COVID pandemic.
Looking into the future, with all the policies and issues surrounding Data centers and their location, could we witness an era of a ‘Mobile Data center’, which is hosted either in a submarine or on a ship? This will not only blur boundaries but will save storage space and in case of a disaster, it could be re-located immediately to another country or territory.
While, the data center industry till date stands at the forefront of innovation, the possibilities of building data centers on a ship at sea or underground submarine could be the next frontier in data center exploration. With advanced facilities and intelligent management of data, CIOs will strategize and set records for size, functionality, and performance. But they may have to buckle up soon, as the day is not far, where they may have to gaze at the constellation via a telescope and identify their Space Datacenters – that could be in 2040!