Most industries were hit hard by the chaos of 2020, but it appears the data center industry will come out a winner in 2021. Business travel restrictions, tradeshow and event shutdowns, and a greater number of employees working from home have had a huge impact on corporate needs for data center services. It’s leading to many up-and-coming trends across our industry.
Let’s explore a few of them!
Climate change seems to be on everyone’s mind and the data center industry is no exception. Cloud computing and colocation providers require large amounts of power and therefore have the carbon footprint to match. Datacenter industry experts are recognizing this trend and are looking at ways to responsibly provide sustainable power to their customers.
Local and regional data centers are investing in sustainable power by contracting with regional and local power providers who have made a considerable investment in renewable forms of electric generation. Sustainable sourcing for power is reducing the carbon footprint for data centers, but also for the customers they serve. In the case of RACK59, we currently purchase our electrical load from Oklahoma’s OG&E. OG&E is a regional power provider that is leading the region in energy and environmental stewardship.
It’s expected that we will see more and more companies becoming increasingly digital in 2021. One reason for this sudden push towards a digitalized focus has been the far-reaching impacts of the covid-19 pandemic. We’ve learned quickly how to use the virtual world to explore, do school, interact with family, and work in a socially distanced manner. Because of that, data centers and the services they offer will be at the forefront of digitalization.
AI, Robotics, Virtual, and Neural Networks
Along with digitizing our world, we are seeing a rising amount of reliance on automation, robotics, virtual and neural networks. Companies that are creating this technology have an enormous amount of data and information that will need to be stored and shared. We’re seeing more and more of these innovation-driven companies choosing to outsource their data center and connectivity needs to colocation providers in order to keep up with the demand driven by a new era of remote environments and an always-connected customer.
2021 is forecasted to be a banner year for regional data center providers. Things have scaled quickly in the last year because of the pandemic. The maturing of the industry is coming at a rapid pace with more people turning to the digital world for day-to-day living and working as well as their need for secure, reliable “environments” for their data and IT infrastructure. Because of this trend, many data centers are building out ahead of the demand. In the case of RACK59, we have 10,000 square feet of space set aside for additional colocation growth here in OKC.
A Hybrid Cloud Approach
In 2021 we expect to see a continuing move to hybrid cloud environments for compute and data storage. Hybrid cloud environments are consistently looking like a combination of on-premise, colocation, and public cloud provisions. Gone are the days of 1 size fits all in large public cloud spaces such as AWS or Azure. Today’s savvy IT organizations are choosing the appropriate environment with the most advantageous tool to meet their application’s computing, storage, and connectivity needs.
The needs of today’s digital-dependent business are constantly changing and 2021 is expected to be no different. It will be exciting to see which of these trends continue to grow and what other shifts and changes will arise as the year unfolds.
If you have found your organization navigating new territory related to the access and reliability of your IT infrastructure and data assets, we’d love to talk with you.
Schedule an onsite or virtual tour with our team and let’s start the conversation.