2017 is in the books. In keeping with New Year traditions, we will explore the data center trends in a two-part article: Part one includes a review of 2017, current insights, and emerging technologies. Part two will continue with predictions and hot technology trends for 2018.
From Cyberscurity to Real Estate, Here are the Top Trends
It’s no surprise that will advances in technologies and an insatiable appetite for compute power, storage, and data services that capital is flooding the data center market at record paces than in previous years and continue over the next 24 months. This has resulted in companies having to outsource data requirements and resort to developing their own solutions. Many enterprises are shifting toward cloud integration and there is a growing demand among small companies of less than two megawatts of space and second-tier markets which are driven by edge, enterprise, and online businesses for cost savings – this results in increase response times and decreased latencies.
This has been a record setting year for U.S. data center real estate investments which doubled over last year reaching $18 billion by mid-2017 and could far exceed total expenditures for the past three years combined according to the CBRE Group, Inc. – access to low-latency nodes and cloud services were the strongest drivers. To grasp where technology and the next trends are heading, just follow the money. For the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), there could be one cloud computing contract to rule them all and send tremors throughout the whole Federal market in 2018.
This has been a banner year in cybersecurity and infrastructure for the U.S. Government – the highly anticipated Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure was signed on May 11, 2017. This signaled to industry that the government was serious and ready to begin the journey toward cyber defense and modernization. The White House says it’s prepared to put its money where its mouth is and is expected to invest up to $500 million over two years for IT modernization. In contrast, the increased frequency and severity of global cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated and costly as a result of an aging infrastructure, talent shortage, and lack of policy with a bite until recently. The statistics show an alarming trend towards all industries and an almost daily mention in many media outlets – the most vulnerable is the U.S. electrical power grid.
Fortunately, industry is making strides to produce more robust and efficient technologies today and continue towards more cost effective deployments. To understand where Information Technology (IT) spending is focused for 2018, a review of the 2017 priorities will provide some background. According to Computer Economics, the IT initiatives and spending priorities for 2017 included:
- Cloud applications
- Cloud infrastructure
- Business Intelligence (BI)/data warehousing
- Mobile devices
- Disaster recovery (DR)/business continuity
For another 2017 perspective, Gartner predicted:
- Intelligent Things and Apps
- Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Machine Learning (ML)
- Blockchain and distributed ledgers
- Virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR)
- Digital Twins; Conversational Systems
- Digital Technology Platforms
- Mesh App and Service Architecture
- Adaptive Security Architecture
Fast forward to 2018, the IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks study provided by Computer Economics covers multiple industries including data center metrics. According to Gartner and other leaders, predictions for next year include:
- AI Foundations
- Intelligent Apps and Analytics
- Intelligent Things
- Digital Twins
- Cloud to the Edge
- Conversational Platform
- Global data center platform
- Digital transformation (DX) platform
- Immersive Experience
- Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust
There is much optimism and no shortage of predictions for the coming year and beyond. IDC has predicted that six out of ten technologies will continue from this year and an additional four new ones.
It’s easy to overlook other technology advances found in modern data centers but the electrical power source including UPS and backup systems are just as critical. With continued cyber attacks to the electrical grid, deploying redundant power sources is an imperative. Some of the most mature and effective with cost benefits include fuel cells, solar, wind, hydrogen, biomass, geothermal, ocean, and hydropower – the global energy market continues to proliferate the landscape across all markets with China, U.S., and Japan leading the way with solar. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Renewable Electricity Futures Study predicts that renewable energy can provide 80 Percent of U.S. Electricity by 2050. Over the next four years, global data center power market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9 percent due to increased construction of green data centers.
Much of the technological gains for IT and non-IT sectors have been led by industry giants and according to Forrester, spending on tech goods, services and staff could exceed $1.58 trillion in 2018 for U.S. business and government with a 5.8 percent growth across most market sectors.
Stay tuned for part two later this week.