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Data centres to change over the next decade

Anuradha Shukla | May 2, 2014
Analysts predict increased utilization of the cloud and dependency on solar.

The data centres will undergo massive changes over the next decade, according to a newly released report by Emerson Network Power.

Analysts expect increased utilization of the cloud and proliferation of solar-powered data centres with power densities more than 50 kW per rack.

This density is expected to increase to 52 kW per rack in 2025, which is good considering average density has remained relatively flat since peaking around 6 kW about a decade ago.

A dramatic upswing in density is expected in the coming days that can significantly change the physical environment of the data centre.

"As the current ICT landscape in Asia continues to evolve with increased adoption of cloud and other technologies, we will see a great shift in how enterprises need to meet the demands of their data centre requirements," said Matthew Kong, country manager, Singapore, Emerson Network Power. "The research showcases the optimism and visionary thinking of leaders in Asia and globally. I believe that the massive changes in the data centre ecosystem will be an exciting time for collaboration and innovation in the industry."

Solar will lead 

A mix of sources including solar will be used to provide electrical power to data centres. Most data centres will use solar while others will use a nearly equal mix of nuclear, natural gas and wind.

About two-thirds of data centre computing will be done in the cloud in 2025. Cloud workloads represent around 46 percent of current total data centre workloads, as per Cisco's Global Cloud Index, and will reach 63 percent by 2017.

Findings of Emerson are based on a survey of more than 800 data centre professionals from around the world. 29% of data centre experts anticipate comprehensive visibility across all systems and layers.

72 percent of the experts believe some level of data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) will be deployed in 2025. The same percentage of industry experts expect IT resource utilization rates to be at least 60 percent in 2025.

"The data centre of 2025 certainly won't be one data centre. The analogy I like to use is to transport," said Andy Lawrence, vice president of Datacentre Technologies and Eco-efficient IT at 451 Research. "On the road, we see sports cars and family cars; we see buses and we see trucks. They have different kinds of engines, different types of seating and different characteristics in terms of energy consumption and reliability. We are going to see something similar to that in the data centre world. In fact that is already happening, and I expect it to continue."



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