Reshaping data center industry

Antoine Harb, Team Leader Middle East and North Africa at Kingston Technology discusses the trends that will dominate 2021 and contribute towards reshaping the data center industry 

Antoine Harb, Team Leader Middle East and North Africa at Kingston Technology

From video streaming to social media to data storage, people today are consuming more information and content delivered via multiple digital channels and platforms. This insatiable customer demand for connected digital services has fueled the growth of the global data center industry, now considered the building blocks of the digital world, and has given rise to a stronger outlook on the sector.

Building more data centers leads to the efficient delivery of digital services. Gartner Inc. predicts that end-user spending on global data center infrastructure will witness a 6 per cent growth this year to reach USD 200 billion compared to 2020.

For 2021, we expect the emergence of new trends and developments. But there are also trends of recent years that will gain further traction this year, accelerate the expansion of the data center sector and redefine the market’s landscape. This article briefly looks into those continuing major trends that will have the greatest impact on the market.

Steady 5G rollout  
5G network and its endless possibilities continue to create a buzz in a world that is steadily moving towards a future where mixed reality technologies are the norm. Smart cities and self-driving cars are two technologies seen to also dominate a world that will require 5G network as a standard.

Compared to today’s existing networks, the exponential 5G speeds are expected to be between 100 and 800 times faster. This will pave the way for a new age where systems, processes and devices are interconnected for rapid delivery of public services.

Arising from this 5G deployment is the creation of a chunk of data, far bigger than what we are witnessing today. This will require more spending on building modern data centers capable of storing and handling the expected data overflow while delivering the needed speed and flexibility with a lower risk of downtime and service interruption.

Among other things, the storage capacity of data centers is a vital component. As data centers today are now becoming cloud-based, demands for storage drives and the memory infrastructure are rising as well. Solid-State Drives (SSDs), for instance, are being rolled out for their fast-retrieving capabilities, as well as having the ability to provide the needed power to support the 5G infrastructure. SSDs also ensure optimum cloud service efficiency for each type of processed data.

At Kingston Technology, its range of enterprise storage solutions includes DC1000M U.2 Enterprise SSD, DC1000B M.2 NVMe SSD, DC450R 2.5″ Enterprise SSD and DC500 2.5″ Enterprise SSD.

The power of edge computing
Edge computing significantly reduces response times, resolves latency problems and eases demands on bandwidth by bringing computation, data storage and data analysis closer to the location where it is highly needed. With the expected steady rollout of 5G this year, more computing power will be brought to the edge. Suitable applications will be consequently developed for edge computing, resulting in the creation of more data; hence, greater demand for data centers.

Edge computing is a powerful force that can greatly influence the growth of the data center market. In particular, the wide adoption of micro edge data centers, which ensure faster response and more efficient data flow and require less power, is now rather a matter of when not if.

Micro edge data centers are not only equipped to store data generated by 5G applications. They are also aligned with communication and data storage solutions, mostly on SSD, that can offer the needed data volume, speed and other future requirements.

Sustainability and green data centers
The data center market has recognized the necessity of embracing and implementing the sustainability concept. Talks about shifting to green data centers will only grow stronger this year to address concerns that data centers will be responsible for one-fifth of the world’s energy demands by 2025.

Data centers powered by renewable energy and those that do not rely on cooling systems are some of the innovations put forth in this area. In terms of memory and storage solutions, shifting from SAS to SSD can also help reduce the power usage of data centers. More innovative and creative thinking are in the offing as environmental sustainability remains high on the social agenda worldwide.

Remote data center management
Undoubtedly, remote management and monitoring of data centers is going to be fundamental and will influence their future designs. We have witnessed the relevance of remote access and automation during this pandemic in which mobility restrictions and social distancing have been imposed. After this global health crisis, its importance will only grow stronger as we adapt to the new reality.

The data center industry is expected to ramp up its efforts in this regard by deploying artificial intelligence technologies to enable 24/7 access, anywhere and anytime.

Suffice to say that the global data center ecosystem will continue to transform this year to support the provision of highly in-demand digital services. Among other things, data center providers will need more optimized storage capacity and faster servers coupled with the promotion of widespread use of hardware encryption and more effective compression. The market cannot afford to stay lax and stagnate amid the immense growth opportunities.

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