It is unfathomable to imagine the times when data was a hard copy which was cataloged and put into shelves. But, with the advancement of keeping these data from hard copy to digital, the efficiency of data storing has made astride. Also, the advancement from floppy to CD, DVD, UMD, HDD and now SSDS, the storing and retrieving of data have become effective and efficient every year for the data centers. The spinal cord of the Internet, these data centers creates, stores and if the need arises, helps in retrieving the stored data. With the growing internet user worldwide, the need for more data centers arises and also the need for discussion on the future of the data center.
However, the immense data production every second through the use of several social media sites, blogs, YouTube and your wish list from Amazon, the data centers are having a hard time storing all this data. So, the big tech companies along with the government are investing heavily in keeping these data centers running efficiently to keep up with the fast pace era of technology.
Here are some elements to consider how the future of Datacenter will look in the upcoming decades.
Before building a data center, several factors are carefully considered such as the stationing of the campus, easy access to fiber networks, geopolitical scenarios and cost-efficiency.
Stationing near cost-effective power sources
Affordability is the foremost rule of thumb for building a data center anywhere. Also, the constant supply of energy with the cheapest of cost in running these data centers. But the future of the data center has to address several of the geographical considerations such as reduce the use of fossil fuels in their plant. Thus, the big tech companies such as Facebook have located their data center in Sweden, next to a hydropower plant. Just like Facebook, Amazon and Google have already stationed their data centers in the Nordic countries where they can find cheap and clean energy sources. These climatic conditions in Nordic regions are cold and suitable for cutting the cost of keeping these plants cool which is a must for every data center.
Many tech giants all over the world are eyeing to adopt clean energy such as solar and hydro-electric sources to fuel their data centers.
Building near the prospect carrying markets
Building near the prospect carrying markets such as the highly populated cities helps the data storage provider to ease up the traffic inflow and outflow from the market. Chinese company Tencent, which owns Fortnite video games, have placed their data centers in Mumbai, India as they knew that the internet market was rapidly growing there. Also, there is an advantage that the growing small businesses can easily move their operations to the data centers available in their cities.
The multinational tech companies are now looking to invest in the offshore nation’s resources as several nations have made amendments in their laws to attract them. From January 2017, the Swedish government has provided a 97% tax cut on electricity used by the data centers. Laws such as this are a huge cost reduction in the operation of the data centers and can highly benefit from it.
Easy accessibility to fiber with security
A proper data center location considers easy accessibility and tight security as one of the prominent necessities in building a data center. Thus, now with the increasing dependence on optical fibers, the tech companies are looking forward to investing huge capital on laying of the fiber optics. To date, over $150 billion has been invested in fiber optic cable infrastructure and is still growing as we speak.
The data centers are also hugely conscious of the matters of security as these data centers have the job of safeguarding the sensitive information of anybody. The data centers which will be built in the future will have more complex internal as well as external setup for making the premises impenetrable. These securities not only address to group with offensive agenda but as well against the forces of nature such as natural calamities or holocaust.
Though the stationing has been of high importance in the building of a data center, the structure is also one of the crucial aspects of it. Most of the big tech companies have their data center built-in remote places where there is low cost in everything required for maintenance. However, some tech companies might require a different structure according to their workflow. Companies such as Tesla and Uber are some of the companies which require real-time data storing and retrieving. Thus, the data centers suitable for these types of tech companies require on-premise or relatively close data centers than other tech companies.
So, these types of companies’ data center structures are more likely to become even smaller and vigorously distributed for the smooth running of their businesses. So, advancement in data centers such as Edge Data Center is one of the data centers of the future for the companies which require an alternative solution to cloud computing. These data centers place their computing resources near the place where data originates thus, reducing the need for data to go back and forth and making the data transmission fast. Tech advancements such as Tesla automated driving a car and google real-time maps are the companies now who would emphasize more on this technology.
Possibility of use of AI in boosting energy efficiency
Currently, the data centers all around the world are operated manually resulting in low efficiency on the energy savings. However, since 2016, Google and DeepMind have been working on building an AI operated data centers which guarantee the increment of 30% on energy savings. This AI will be responsible for making the minute of changes in energy savings and reducing emissions from the data centers. However, it will be a while to see those AI in fully operational mode.
In comparison to the 80s and 90s, the storage devices of the data centers have come a long way in both functioning capacity and cost per unit. However, the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) storage device will soon be a name of the past technological advancement. The SSDs (Solid State Drive) which compared to its predecessor, is also a mass storage device that supports reading and writing of data and will soon overtake the HDD. There are several differences or we might say advancements in SSDs which makes it the next big thing in the data centers storage device. Unlike the HDD, SSDs can operate without moving parts thus making it more durable. Also, it is exceptionally faster and lighter than HDDs. The cooldown time required is less during the usage of high memory also shows SSDs performing better than HDD.
The drawback of SSDs is its price. It is more expensive than the HDD and has less storage capacity than the HDD. However, SSDs are now widespread all over the digital devices such as laptops and smartphones so, if the economies of scale favor SSDs then the price per unit shall fall.
For the future, data center companies are working on the promising technology of HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording. This storage device is like that of the HDD and SSD but uses a different approach while recording the data. During the data writing, the surface of the drive is heated with laser for great precision and stability thus, increasing the capacity to store more data than the usual HDD. Tech companies like Seagate have claimed that HAMR technology can increase the storage capacity of the HDD to over 30%.