The global pandemic has spurred a rapid growth in demand for data centers, credit to the acceleration of digital transformation amongst organizations. The rapid rise in digital adoption due to world-wide lockdown and work from home has increased the demand for data centers. According to IDC, the amount of digital data created over the next five years will be greater than twice the amount of data created since the advent of digital storage.
It is estimated that more than 2.5 trillion bytes of data is being created each day, thanks to IoT devices, internet penetration, and smartphone usage across the world. As a result, the global smart home market is predicted to hit $138 billion by 2026, with digital health and assisted home living services set to grow considerably in the coming decade.
The increasing demand for data and data center poses a challenge for the data center industry. As the world moves towards digital-first economy, data center leaders will find it difficult to keep pace with the significant increase in demand.
Let’s look at some of the challenges that data centers may face going forward.
Physical security for data centers
With the recent Facebook outage, leaders have realized how important data center continuity and security is. Data center security encompasses physical security concerns too. In addition to cyber security, organizations must ensure that their data centers are physically secure as well. That means ensuring that the access is controlled, the peripheral climate is controlled, and the center is safe from issues such as water leaks or other incidents that might damage the servers.
Drive towards Sustainability
Previously, data center service providers were accustomed to getting power whenever they needed it. But as the world moves towards green and sustainable initiatives, providers will be scrutinized in detail. The challenge for data centres will no longer be of efficiency, but one of sustainability. New metrics, new approaches to data centre design, and the energy consumed will fall under greater scrutiny.
The lacuna between the power needed against the power supplied will pose a challenge for data center providers. This challenge will attract serious investment and innovation and will enable the industry leaders to design a more renewable and sustainable power efficient data centers. In January 2022, a few of the European data center and cloud providers signed a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030. Backed by 17 industry bodies, the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact created targets for efficiency, use of green energy and the introduction of ‘circular economy’ practices.
Rapidly changing technology landscape
The data center market is continuing to struggle with ever-increasing latency requirements. They are finding it challenging to manage existing centers that are rapidly turning obsolete against advancing data-intensive technologies. Insufficient energy supply and unclear regulations have made matters worse. Global leaders must ensure that they are expanding their center of excellence teams by exploring innovative technology and building modular and flexible centers that are agile enough to withstand and adopt future technology advancements.
Data flow across seas
Information flow of data governance and regulation between countries is limited. Each country has limited and siloed information to tackle global challenges related to data centers and their governance and sustainability.
Industry leaders must enable data to flow across borders. They must design and align universal regulation frameworks that are accepted globally by jurisdictions and governments. This framework will enable leaders to share information and build sustainable infrastructure to meet the increasing demands.
In 2022, IT leaders will become increasingly savvy about availability, uptime promises and usage costs as they evaluate infrastructure models that best suits their organization goals moving forward. CIOs will revisit and review their setup to ensure maximum efficiency. Innovations in the data center industry will enable organizations to scale their needs flexibly, manage deployments faster, and control costs at their fingertips.
The above article is authored by By Shrikant Navelkar, Director, Clover Infotech.