In a not too distant future, humans will depend exclusively on technology. That dependence will ultimately create new opportunities for data center operators to expand and redesign how facilities are built and operated. Every now and then I wonder what the world will look like in the future. Larger, smarter cities, driverless cars, embedded mixed reality and intelligent services are just some of the topical ideas. Yet, really holding the answer to the future, are data centers. These time travel capsules that allow the past to be stored, the present to be lived and the future to be engineered.
As with digital transformation, data centers are poised to undergo much greater change. The next generation of data centers will leverage new technologies that are being designed as you read to address a range of requirements including an ever-increasing demand for power and space. These technologies include liquid cooling, DNA storage, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning – technologies that will start transforming data centers worldwide.
However, markets where construction of buildings has been slower than in more developed regions, such as Europe or North America, will benefit from a lack of legacy IT real estate which will allow the implementation of ground-breaking technologies in a much faster fashion and with fewer hurdles. One of those markets is APAC, a region of contrasts in terms of data center development, where countries like South Korea, Singapore, and Japan lead, and nascent markets like Vietnam, Myanmar, and Malaysia are starting to make some noise.
“Data centers will be run by AI in order to ensure maximum efficiency and resiliency.”
The overall market for data center capacity in public cloud and colocation will be 2.5 to 3 times what it is today and the average data center built prior to 2018 will need serious retrofitting to enable higher density and greater efficiency or they won’t be able to compete. So what will the data center of the future look like? Well, one thing is for sure: technological breakthrough will transform the infrastructure to be smaller, more efficient and harmless to the environment. Competition is also set to take place. In the end, data centers will metamorphose into whatever shape and size needed to withstand the most adverse environments and follow humans wherever we go, be it underwater civilizations, Mars colonies or beyond.