Data centres form the backbone of the internet. Collecting, storing, processing and distributing data around the clock, and across the globe. And as our use of the internet and internet enabled devices grows, so does the amount of data we’re creating, and this means that data centres are having to adapt.
Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will include 25 billion units by 2021, with global spending touching $1.7 trillion. This giant global network of web-enabled devices - including everything and anything from washing machines and fitness trackers, to sensors on oil rigs and astronauts orbiting Earth - generates an enormous and increasing amount of data which needs to be stored and processed in data centres where it can be analysed and used by the organisations collecting it.
Edge computing brings another element of change to the industry. It enables data to be analysed in real time, as it’s collected. At the edge of the network. Thus creating the need for new, innovative ways to store and manage data.
These evolving technology trends also throw new security challenges into the mix. More internet enabled devices, means more networks, which means more vulnerabilities to cyber attacks. Data centres needs to adapt their security landscapes to mitigate risk, designing facilities to combat the increasing range of threats and ensuring the highest levels of compliance and data privacy, whilst maintaining guarantees of uptime, speed and resilience.
These advances in technology and the growth of edge computing will drive an increase in smaller data centres and edge-driven systems that will work alongside existing data centres. However, the traditional data centre model will continue to thrive, maintaining its position as the backbone of the internet for essential data processing and storage requirements. Deployments that lean heavily on edge computing will likely also stream data back to a central data centre for storage and further analysis, meaning a heavier workload for larger, centralised data centres.
Edge computing and the Internet of Things will also spur businesses to speed up their transition to the cloud as they innovate using advanced emerging technologies to stay ahead of the curve. These companies will need to rely on the speed, agility and expertise of data centres and managed hosting providers to develop their offerings, and handle the increasing amounts of data.
With 50% of enterprise organisations planning to implement IoT within the next 3 years, the industry is only set to continue to grow, with the modern data centre playing a key role in innovation and emerging technologies, providing a core infrastructure for everything from IoT and edge computing, to AI, blockchain and quantum computing.
The network of data centres globally could therefore start to become more distributed, with regional micro data centres appearing in smaller cities and towns, supported by bigger, modern data centres that together, serve as the network that connects the billions of devices that make up the Internet of Things.