Most companies now gather quite a lot of data in their lifetimes as part of normal operations. The data must be sorted, studied and archived in large data centers, which are at risk from computer errors, power loss or overheating. Companies hire analysts to monitor their systems, but this work tends to be both costly and also too simple for the full-time attention of a system administrator. That’s where Artificial Intelligence (AI) steps in.

The information captured by a company is often too much for any person to see entirely, which suggests that in the future we will need automation to analyze and form predictions from that data. Companies already use Artificial Intelligence to monitor large amounts of collected data, pull out useful findings and respond to many possible system problems, from turning on cooling systems to creating data backups right before errors occur.

AI – Real Or Fiction?

The term AI has been heard in so many settings that actual AI can seem too simple in comparison. Artificial Intelligence in movies is alive like a person, with all the potential benefits and flaws that can bring. They are generally much smarter than humans and create problems for characters to overcome.

In real life, AI is when computers make decisions based on programming and external information. If you program a data center’s lighting system to monitor the time and turn on or off depending on a set schedule, you will have created a simple AI. Much of what gets considered true Artificial Intelligence is more complex than that, but will always involve the computer making decisions by following their programming. AI is only as smart as whoever programs the AI, but can act faster and doesn’t struggle with doubt.

A term related to this topic is Machine Learning, which is when computers are empowered to change their own programming in response to external information. Machine learning has the potential to create computers smarter than humans, mostly due to their ability to take in large amounts of data and learn faster than us, though with the same potential for making mistakes.

If your AI programmed to monitor the time and turn on lights wasn’t told an exact time to do so but could tell when employees arrived, machine learning would allow the AI to decide an exact time after gathering enough data. Whether that time was a few seconds before the earliest arrival time on record or perhaps an average of all recorded earliest times might depend on what the machine learning took from that data, though this could then be improved further through more data and learning.

Using AI In A Data Center

Some older data centers aren’t yet ready for full AI integration, which would require more sources of data for the AI to study, more power and space to run the AI, and ways in which the AI can make necessary changes without human intervention. DCD points out that currently only large corporations can truly develop and use AI and machine learning to the full extent, but also that these technologies will gradually find their way into smaller companies through partnerships and spin-off businesses.

AI and machine learning relies heavily on data, so there’s no surprise they tend to become better as data collection and sensor technology improves and grows more affordable. The costs of developing new AI can vary widely, but tend to be higher for the more complex needs we will increasingly want them for. VentureBeat shares how most organizations with a budget for AI and machine learning increased that spending in 2020-21 to improve processing speed and decrease cases of data bottlenecks.

Other uses for Artificial Intelligence in data centers include:

  • For data centers to be affordable, they must use energy efficiently by turning off systems the moment they are no longer needed, or by moving data around so that no server becomes too busy or full during the workday. They can record what settings worked best in the past and use those again, or continue to learn toward the best possible reactions. Google cut costs at their data centers using AI to manage cooling systems, fans and windows.
  • When the largest data centers have problems, people may need the help of AI to find the exact cause within an ocean of potential sources. AI that has been fed enough data can also predict causes before they occur and help the technicians prevent them. Alibaba used machine learning and temperature sensors at their data center to find faults and generate early warning alarms for predictive maintenance.
  • Data centers are by definition full of expensive equipment that must be maintained and repaired. AI can monitor sensor readings from every sector within a large data center, track electrical needs, humidity and temperature, or study the work and lifetime of equipment to extend that service through part replacement and upgrades.
  • These days, Artificial Intelligence is also widely used with pandemic safety tools, such as automatic temperature checks when people arrive and zero-touch control systems while they work.

The Future Of Artificial Intelligence Data Storage

By 2026, the data center automation market is expected to reach $20 billion. GAVS claims that more than 70% of enterprises will soon quit using simple- or no-AI data centers because of the operational costs, which tend to be lower when managed by complex AI. Even smaller companies can find pre-packaged, ready to use tools available for setting up AI in a data center.

To make future data centers more affordable to maintain and with the best use of all that data they contain, we will need automation in the form of AI that can either help the human analysts in their work or take simple jobs from them entirely. Almost all IT executives say Artificial Intelligence will soon perform more of the data management tasks which computers are best suited for, such as sorting large data sets, though in the future AI will also take smaller data from various formats and sources to create overall predictions.

Ready to learn more about data center automation through AI? Contact Rack59 for help with this necessary change to any modern business!