What might tomorrow's data centers look like?

Data center technology is evolving in response to changing technology and business demands. 

Data center technology is evolving in response to changing technology and business demands. 

Every day a business operates, it experiences, diagnoses and solves a problem. Some days these issues may be relatively trivial, but others see companies forced to adapt to major shifts in the industry. No matter how impactful the adjustment may be in the short term, over time all of these changes to the way an enterprise does business end up affecting the IT infrastructure that supports those efforts. Compounded within an ever-evolving industry of its own, and it's no wonder enterprise IT is in a constant state of flux. 

In this post, we'll examine several trends shaping the future of data center technology, including both those influenced by innovation in the enterprise IT industry itself, as well as by the changing business landscape they end up supporting. 

"Data center providers are under a growing amount of scrutiny for the amount of resources they consume."

Sustainability
Like most companies today, data center providers have been under a growing amount of scrutiny for the amount of resources they consume. In 2013, data centers used as much energy as 34 large coal-fired power plants, the Natural Resources Defense Council found. By 2020, that total is expected to reach the level of 50 such plants. What's more, a 1 MW data center facility can go through as much as 1.2 million gallons of water a year just to stay cool, according to Jack Pouchet of Emerson Network Power. Fueled by mounting pressure to erase this well-earned reputation as a resource drain, data centers will become much more sustainable in the coming years, exploring innovative ways to both reduce water usage and leverage the growing pool of available alternative energy, 451 Research reported. 

Decentralization
As constant connectivity and seemingly endless data streams push companies to become more agile, so too is the rapid pace of business affecting data center design. Data centers are becoming far less centralized, trading fewer - but more massive - locations for a wider network of smaller processing centers, reported Data Center Knowledge. These so-called "micro data centers" will help extend cloud coverage to previously underserved areas along a network's edge, perhaps improving performance in emerging markets. This growth will be supported by providers' increased reliance on prefabricated modular data centers to meet rapidly growing demand, according to 451 Research. 

Automation
Across enterprise IT infrastructure, software has emerged as a major process driver. With more powerful software controlling data centers, newly automated tasks will improve responsiveness, cost-efficiency and errors, Data Center Knowledge reported. To deliver this level of complete automation, software platforms will connect to every component in a data center, offering real-time data that operators can use to troubleshoot or optimize performance. 

To stay competitive, it's crucial you work with a data center provider capable of keeping up with today's rapid rate of change. At ARG, we work with these companies day in and day out, and can recommend the provider that can put your business in the best position to succeed. To see how we can save you 20-40% on your technology expenditures, contact us today.