Upcoming Data Center Trends for 2023 and How They Will Affect Industry 4.0

16 Mar 2023

Lithium-ion batteries, renewable energies, AI, new cooling systems and more – these are the industry’s biggest bets to optimize resources.

Data centers have been among the fastest-growing industries in recent years. According to a report from consultancy firm IDC, 64.2 zettabytes of data were created in 2020 alone, and worldwide data is expected to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025 – a 175-fold increase from 2011. 

This digital data production explains the importance of data centers as digital infrastructure hubs that store the vast ocean of data consumed by people every day. Data centers usually have redundancy and security systems, i.e., their data is backed up and protected against potential system failure events or cyberattacks, ensuring data integrity and availability, a cornerstone of business continuity.

The data center market has expanded in the USA and Europe. In the former, five data center companies have already gone public: Equinix, Digital Realty, CyrusOne, CoreSite, and QTS Realty Trust. Furthermore, there are at least seven data centers in the country, located in Northern Virginia, Silicon Valley, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Atlanta.

As for Europe, the region has five major data center markets in Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Dublin. London is the city with the biggest supply, backed by the London Internet Exchange (LINX), one of the world’s largest Internet Exchange Points (IXP). According to estimates, 25% of job openings in the industry are in the British capital, second only to Amsterdam, with 27%.

The Dutch capital is where corporations, such as Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud, choose to store their data and play a key role due to the Netherlands’ position as the landing point of more than ten transatlantic underwater cables. As for Dublin, it stands out among European cities for its sizable number of data centers built by their own end users, such as Amazon Web Services, Facebook, and TikTok.

Spain also has the potential to become a digital hub for Southern Europe due to its strategic geographic location, its well-developed telecommunications sector and its energy availability. According to research from Rittal, the Spanish data center industry is expected to attract 5 billion euros in direct investments and 10 billion euros in indirect investments in the next five years.

Global Distribution

While the rise of virtualization allows managing services in the cloud from anywhere in the world, the lack of infrastructure in large swaths of the planet has caused latency issues and led to a poor user experience for consumers.

Latency is basically defined as the time it takes data to go from the server to the user’s device. While there are multiple technologies and methodologies that can help reduce latency, the most noticeable tactic in recent years has been building lots of data centers in many locations around the world previously served by Asian, American or European data centers. This trend among providers helps them get closer to consumers.

This is where Importer of Record (IOR) experts such as Aerodoc have become particularly relevant in recent years, as they help companies ship specific gear such as servers, cables, and racks to destinations overseas, including, in some cases, installations by specialized technicians in the place of destination. In other words, they are everywhere so their customers do not need to open and manage subsidiaries overseas.

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Now, installing data centers in Latin America, Africa or Asia is easier than ever. The same applies to servers inside the main Tier 1 and Tier 2 data centers in those regions, which provide hosting services and access to the main connectivity providers. Companies like Aerodoc can help achieve significant cost savings and shorter implementation times for those projects.

Dan Zonnenschein, COO at Aerodoc, explains that the company plays a key role in the global expansion of data center infrastructure with its DDP service with IOR, as it enables global and regional players to ship equipment to countries with complicated import regimes. “Since 2020, Aerodoc has grown systematically, supporting the distribution of data center equipment globally, with a strong focus on Latam and Asia”.

Innovation and Sustainability

Big Data, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the three biggest pillars of Industry 4.0. As in any revolution, their disruptive logic will coexist with the current paradigm for a while, which is why one of the biggest innovations the industry is working on is managing large volumes of data sustainably, using technology to achieve energy efficiency and thus reduce the environmental impact and operational costs.

According to Jen Huffstetler, Intel’s Chief Product Sustainability Officer, “currently, sustainability demands data center cooling solutions that provide greater efficiency, flexibility, and scalability while ensuring the performance levels required by computing.”

A few proposals are already being tested around the world, while others may join them soon. In Dubai, for instance, Moro Hub has the world’s largest solar-powered data center, certified by Guinness World Records with 16,031.925 m² (172,566 sq. ft.)

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Using nuclear energy to reduce the carbon footprint is Cumulus Data’s goal for 2023. To achieve that, the company is building its main data center campus in Pennsylvania, which will be nuclear-powered to achieve sustainable operations.

In the third quarter of 2023, a new form factor is expected to be released, specifically designed to cut costs for data centers seeking to implement liquid cooling.

Iceotope, a manufacturer of precision liquid cooling solutions, is developing a new V2 chassis made of pressed steel, with improved functionality and increased cost optimization. This will make it easier to deploy and maintain large-scale liquid cooling systems using standard IT server racks. Iceotope’s solutions provide extreme cooling performance while isolating and protecting critical IT gear from the surroundings.

Several data centers around the world are also replacing their traditional batteries for lithium-ion models, which are rechargeable, thus promoting green energy.

The green cooling technology developed by NTT, a global technology and business solution provider, is another sustainability highlight currently being deployed in Indian data centers. If applied in a significant number of data centers elsewhere, green cooling will help increase energy efficiency up to 30% compared with traditional cooling systems.

Artificial Intelligence and Efficiency

Even though the marriage between the newfound powers of AI and existing data centers is far from perfect, automating operations through smart, autonomous decision-making will be the next step in the industry’s quest to maximize efficiency.

The implementation of AI in data centers will open the door for smart operations and even system failure prevention. In China, for example, some data centers have robots that inspect facilities to capture data in real time. Using auditive sensors, these robots can detect unexpected sounds in the gear and prevent failures.

Industry 4.0 is a new step in technological evolution that combines automation and digitization with advanced manufacturing and AI to increase efficiency and productivity in manufacturing, healthcare, education, shipping, and other fields.

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AI and data centers play a key role in that evolution, and they are poised to bring about a sustainable revolution, with resource circularity, renewables, and smarter, automated energy management practices as the pillars of decision-making in the future.

Aerodoc has become a perfect ally for suppliers who cannot handle the process of importing the necessary hardware for installing data centers or prefer to outsource that operation. Our customers find in us an ideal partner that deals with every specific need regarding distribution and helps businesses scale up fast.

With its DDP services, Aerodoc provides an end-to-end solution to manage every requirement: import permits, licenses, brokerage, customs clearance and local delivery in the destination country.  

If you are expanding your business, contact our team to discuss our DDP service with IOR.

 

 

Topics on this article: 2023 | data centers | Industry 4.0 | Trends

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