Designing data centers can be challenging when there is uncertainty in the forecast. This often leads to the power, cooling and connectivity equipment being either under- or over-engineered. At CommScope, we embrace the many years of experience we have in addressing customers’ pain points and assessing rapidly changing technologies and shifts in the business to look ahead toward future trends. The five key trends in the data center that we see having a direct and sustained impact on infrastructure design and operations today and in the future are:
- Bandwidth explosion
- Shift to the cloud
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Edge computing
- New disruptive technologies
Annual global IP traffic will surpass the zettabyte (1,000 exabytes) threshold in 2016; this number will double by 2019. Global IP traffic has increased more than fivefold in the past five years and will increase nearly threefold over the next five. What is interesting is that over half of all IP traffic will originate from non-PC devices by 2019, and the traffic from wireless and mobile devices will exceed traffic from wired devices by 2019. The expectation is that the number of devices connected to IP networks will be three times as high as the global population in 2019. Data centers are expected to handle this tremendous increase.
Shift to cloud
The shift to cloud computing is another major trend in today’s data center market. We still see several customers building their own data centers, but a major shift is underway to either public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. The adoption of cloud technology is in process and impacting data center requirements.
Internet of Things
The IoT and the number of connected devices will drive massive amounts of data to the data center. There is an evolution of building smart cities around the world, which requires lots of data to be stored and processed, not to mention taking a deep dive into analytics.
Edge computing or moving the content closer to the consumer is inevitable. Content and applications with video and voice require lower latency for satisfying businesses and consumers today. Streaming video sites and social media account for more than 60 percent of today’s IP traffic. Having this content distributed around the world closer to the consumer would be the best idea moving forward.
New disruptive technologies
So many things have had a big impact on how data center infrastructure is being built and managed: Software Defined Network (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), spine leaf architecture design, and the disaggregation of network elements with hyper converged infrastructure (HCI). The road map we foresee for network Ethernet speeds—using parallel fiber and duplex fiber to support speeds of 25G/50G/400G and more—makes us pause and think, “What other technologies will impact a company-owned data center in the future?”
CommScope strives to position solutions and products that achieve data center manager’s goals and reduce their worries and pain points. Let me know your views on the evolving data center and what keeps you up at night. I look forward to discussing this topic and meeting with you in person at two upcoming IDC events: IDC IT Forum 2016 in Dubai, September 22, and IDC IT Forum 2016 in Riyadh, September 26.
You can also check out CommScope’s new eBook, The Connected and Efficient Data Center, for more of our views into the data center trends. Leave me a comment with any questions.