Data centers will also support digital business and business-critical realtime interactions among people, things, locations, clouds, and data. “New technologies like 5G, edge computing, and IoT rely on realtime processing and use huge amounts of data that depend on cloud computing,” Madden concludes. “These data-dense technologies will drive the need for data centers, because they offer more scalable and cost-effective cloud computing.”
David Cappuccio, distinguished vice president and analyst, IT infrastructure strategies, at Gartner, says as this market grows, there are a couple of key trends to watch. “For enterprise data centers … the trend is to get away from them, and a lot are moving towards colocation and cloud, essentially deciding which workload belongs where, and setting a strategy accordingly,” Cappuccio says. “For those where CAPEX (capital expenditure) is better than OPEX (operating expenditure), we see retrofits and new builds, but the focus is on energy and space efficiency, essentially (to) optimize vertical density and optimize power/cooling at the same time. This reduces floor space and overall spend.” For colocation providers, Cappuccio says he is seeing increased interest in secondary services toward cross-connect and interconnect services, allowing customers to implement a cloud migration, build a partner ecosystem, or incorporate an as-a-service offering.
Cappuccio further suggests the IoT is driving interest in smaller edge environments and micro-data centers. “In many cases, IoT hubs need to be near sensors, because analysis and resolution might be needed in milliseconds,” he says. “Within four years, we expect over 50% of all generated data to be at edge environments, not in traditional data centers. Much of this might be temporary data—digital twin as an example—but initial use/analysis of the data will be localized. Some will be eliminated, some will move to an aggregation point (like a) data center (or) cloud for future use.”