As we move into 2018, we are seeing a ramp-up in certain trends that will provide ongoing challenges for businesses and data centers from now to the foreseeable future. Any business or data center that plans to be competitive within the next five years should be paying close attention to these trends and making the necessary adjustments to their infrastructure and capacities. Here are a few of the trends we’re seeing in 2018:

IoT, AI, and AR/VR are driving incredible increases in demand for compute, storage and network capacity

As more and more Internet of Things (IoT) devices and machines running AI algorithms come online, there will naturally be more demand for faster access to data. The growth of Augmented and Virtual Reality will bring their own networking and processing challenges.

Industry veteran Mark Thiele predicted in a 2016 LinkedIn article that, “If the numbers follow a historical precedent at all we will need roughly 400 million servers, to support our 2020 IoT and technology demands. In order to have enough data centers for 400 million servers we would need to add another 4,000 massive data centers measuring roughly 400,000 sq.ft. with approximately 50 megawatts of power each.”

IoT and AI are pushing data to the edge.

As we wrote in Solving the Capacity Challenge, “By 2019, nearly half of IoT data will be processed at the edge of the cloud, according to IDC. Edge processing is also likely to rise as tech giants explore more efficient, and more private, ways to run AI algorithms. Revolutions in machine learning have already significantly increased capacity demands in the cloud, and now tech giants are developing edge-based processing for those AI algorithms.”

This edge-based processing solves processing speed issues for IoT, but it means greater demand on cloud-based storage, which puts greater capacity demands on data storage centers.

How 2018 Trends Will Impact the Data Center

For both business owners and data centers, these trends create looming challenges that must be solved for survival. Below are some specific ways that data centers will be impacted:

Capacity planning will only get more difficult – making a future-proof data center even more essential.

As Andrew Schaap explained, “Very rapid technological change means that future demand for data center capacity is anybody’s guess. And that makes life challenging for even the most sophisticated capacity planners…Having a data center partner that can deliver capacity fast, scale up, and scale out takes the stress out of data center capacity planning. When data center infrastructure is designed to scale up and out, then future-proofing doesn’t require over-provisioning capacity to mitigate risk.”

Although it’s likely impossible to predict exact future demands on data centers, it is possible to purpose-build data centers that can deliver capacity fast and scale up. Aligned is one such data center.

Modern IT server architectures are pushing compute densities upward – and also creating mixed density environments. 

Architectures such as .5U, hyper-converged infrastructure, rack-scale designs and multiple other forms of high-performance computing are rapidly becoming mainstream, increasing the density demands on the data center. As we wrote in High, Mixed, & Variable Density Needs an Adaptive Data Center, “Supporting higher densities and increasingly dynamic compute loads without stranding capacity, scalability without over-provisioning, and reliability even in an age of dramatically fluctuating data center power draws requires the data center to be for IT exactly what IT has had to become for the business: adaptive.”

Because tech growth and capacity demands are happening rapidly and organically, data centers must become more adaptive than ever, architecting mixed density environments that allow rapid response to variable data demands.

How Aligned is Responding to the Predicted Trends of 2018

The right partner is an adaptive data center, which is future-proof. Data centers such as those run by Aligned are able to match the changing needs of their clients –  data centers that can quickly and efficiently deliver new capacity and quickly and efficiently add capacity to existing deployments. Here are just two specific ways that Aligned is partnering with its clients to respond to the capacity trends of 2018:

  • Moving beyond BMS and DCIM to overcome data center challenges

At Aligned, the colocation client portal collects tens of millions of real-time data points across existing and new infrastructure assets then aggregates, indexes, and presents that data primed for decision-making. This software shares some features with both a building management system and a traditional Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) system, but it is a significant advance on both of those tools.

  • Client portal for greater transparency and insight

At Aligned, colocation customers also enjoy transparency into what’s going on in the data center from the CDU to the PDU. This client portal gives customers the ability to see what is happening in the moment, where it’s happening and, if applicable, what caused it.

Interested in learning more about how Aligned is responding to the top tech trends of 2018? Contact us today!