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7 Emerging Data Center Trends

February 10, 2015  |  Written by Digital Realty

In a recent article, Digital Realty Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Matt Miszewski noted seven emerging data center trends that will make data centers even more strategic in 2015 and beyond.

An awareness of the importance of data center strategy is on the rise.

A recurring theme I heard at the December 2014 Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference was that while in the past, the questions analysts fielded were more tactical – how to build a data center, and what to build – these days, the analysts are getting more questions about data center strategy.

Here are some data center strategy trends we are seeing:

  1. Influx of “micro” data centers and the emergence of the “mothership”
    As the Internet of Things collects and distributes data streams from wearables, lower latencies become ever more important. As a result, localized data becomes more valuable. Expect to see an increase in smaller data centers. Larger data centers, aka “motherships,” will remain a piece of the story, but will likely house aging and less fluid data.
  2. Software-defined networking (SDN)
    With each passing year, at least a portion of existing physical hardware infrastructure will need to be replaced. Many will consider redirecting this hardware budget towards SDN.
  3. Seamless, diversified cloud portfolios
    With an ever greater number of industry partnerships that connect the data center to AWS and various cloud marketplaces, movement between different deployment options is becoming streamlined to just a few clicks.
  4. Rise of the mid-market data center ecosystem
    Historically, colocation has been the center of data center strategy of large enterprises and internet companies. More recently, colo is becoming more prevalent within the broader business community as data center providers deliver more accessible offerings.
  5. Evolving political landscape
    Data localization is increasingly becoming a topic of conversation in the European Union. As countries in the EU address this topic, it is likely that companies with the resources to do so will take proactive steps to stay ahead of this trend.
  6. Attractive new markets
    Technology and business hubs like Silicon Valley, New York, and London have traditionally been seen as primary destinations for data center builds. However, other markets are usually more affordable, and can be just as effective. These “Gray zones” – highly desirable markets such as Arizona and Utah – offer low risk of natural disasters and often deliver real estate or tax incentives.
  7. Greater focus on sustainability
    Large tech companies, such as Apple and Google have publicly taken the lead in reducing carbon emissions and data center energy consumption. Despite the recent decline in oil prices, public recognition of the need for more sustainable solutions is here to stay. As a result, it’s likely that the focus on sustainability will become more pervasive and result in further innovation.

Rebecca Bergman, Director of Corporate Communications (@Rebecca_DLR)