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Rittal publishes review of five trends for data centres

06 July 2020

In the shift towards a smarter, more connected world, the number of demands being placed on IT are rising rapidly.

Operators are seeking to satisfy a growing requirement for greater processing speeds, capacity and reliability across our IT networks and infrastructure.

To explore this more fully, Rittal has published a major review of the five leading data centre trends, consolidating both expert opinion and the latest research findings into a fully interactive Playbook (https://info.rittal.co.uk/5-trends-of-data-centres).

The document analyses: 

• The growth in data volumes
• Edge computing
Energy efficiency
• Standardised technology and OCP                             
• AI-based monitoring capabilities     

The growth in data volumes 

Rittal’s analysis considers how real-time data volumes are set to explode, with the anticipated explosion in the volume of data generated globally increasing from 33 zettabytes (33 billion terrabytes) currently, to 175 zettabytes by 2025. 

The Playbook considers the growth in demand for cloud-based computing and real-time data for machine learning, streaming, car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication, analytics and reasoning. Technology, network capabilities and IT infrastructures must all adapt to deliver low latency and immediate data processing. This requires major investment to upscale current sector resources.

However, there are legitimate concerns around data security, connectivity and latency in the cloud that the report identifies which need to be addressed.

Controlling big data with edge computing

Edge computing places flexible, modular and decentralised IT solutions directly where data is created. It closes the gap between conventional local data processing and cloud-based data processing, guaranteeing minimal latency and maximum reliability and protection.

Edge computing is increasingly being used alongside hyperscale datacentres. Indeed, IDC predicts that by 2024, more than 90% of enterprises will have multi-cloud environments, combining on-premises, off-premises, public and private clouds. 

As the Playbook highlights, the challenge for IT managers is how to balance their on-site edge data centre with cloud resources. They are required to support application hosting as well as deliver high availability in line with their corporate strategy.

Meanwhile the predicted explosion in 5G mobile communications will expand the number of transmission masts, while the infrastructure will have to be supported through edge data centres. 

From Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), to connected healthcare, many industries will soon require scalable network performance and capacity to either emerge or continue and strive.

Energy efficiency 

Rittal’s review recognises energy efficiency as second only to availability in terms of importance for data centre operators. 

The Playbook considers the rise of hybrid cooling units and their impact on energy and cost optimisation. For example, the new LCP (liquid cooling) hybrid units, which achieve efficient performance with heat pipe technology.

The upshot for businesses is not just reputational. Thanks to a lower environmental impact; companies also benefit from reduced operating costs. 

The key is maintaining output level and reliability – something that Rittal’s report demonstrates is still achievable with renewable energy sources. 

Open Computing Project (OCP)

The rapid upgrade of existing data centres requires new and existing IT infrastructure to allow for fast deployment to facilitate scalability. 

An essential requirement for this is standardised technology. 

The launch of the Open Computing Project (OCP) by Facebook in 2011 created a collaborative community that redesigns hardware technology to support computer infrastructure. 

Rittal is signed up to the OCP and the company currently makes many of the new open racks that help with fast deployment, as well as easier maintenance and spare parts management.               
       
AI-based monitoring capabilities     

The growing need for assistance systems featuring artificial intelligence (AI), is also considered. 

As Rittal’s analysis identifies, the scale of large and complex IT systems will soon be such that, without AI, they will be impossible to operate in a fail-safe way. Indeed, according to the IDC, by 2022, half the components within large data centres will include integrated AI functions and therefore be operating autonomously. Data centre operators can then use predictive analytics and machine learning for early fault warnings and to support optimum load balancing for maximum reliability. 

The fully interactive Rittal Playbook is available to view at https://info.rittal.co.uk/5-trends-of-data-centres.


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