Defined by an unparalleled health crisis that will go down in history, 2020 and 2021 will never be forgotten. Both professionally and personally, the pandemic has caused and continues to cause monumental changes for millions of people as they have been forced to pivot and rethink the structures of their businesses in order to survive and move forward.
Although certain current trends – including augmented digitalization – are nothing new, these unprecedented emergency scenarios have contributed to significant increases in digital needs. In order to respond to the digital necessities of the post-pandemic environment the world has now become accustomed to, data centers, which are essential to the online universe, must revolutionize and employ the most cutting-edge technologies.
Here are the top five most vital upcoming trends and ways to create a next-generation data center that, when faced with unfamiliar future challenges, will be effective, adaptable, and operational:
Automation Is Necessary
Prior to the pandemic, the data center industry suffered a detrimental lack of knowledgeable employees. A study conducted in 2018 noted that the average age of employees in this industry continues to increase and females commonly avoid data center positions. In short, the data center workforce is unable to keep up with the demand for servers.
Due to restraints brought on by the lockdown, automation became essential and businesses that already utilized remote management systems had a competitive advantage. But regardless of the obvious need for digital services during the pandemic, only a few countries consider data center personnel as “essential workers.” According to a study by Mordor Intelligence, by 2025, the data center automation market could increase to $19.65 billion. In 2019 it was $7.34 billion.
Although some operations continue to perform manually, many simple changes can be made to reduce the number of on-site employees. Contemporary automation platforms have the technology to handle most server operations including automatic discovery, component inventory, network and storage configuration, registration, and immediate hardware replacement, among other examples. This approach is advantageous for obvious reasons and data centers that invest in automation will see a decrease in costs as they operate more efficiently going forward.
The Collocation Comeback
Managed and operated by their IT staff, many small and medium-sized companies kept servers and entire racks on-premises. After the pandemic caused many businesses to shutter their offices, companies were forced to move their hardware to data centers and the interest in collocation services skyrocketed.
But with those changes came requirement modifications as clients now expect data centers to offer advanced tools that were previously unavailable as part of a self-hosting setup. As a result, most automation systems now provide remote operating system installation, intelligent metrics, or firmware updates.