AFCOM State of the Data Center 2020: A Data Center That Can Think and a Preview of What’s to Come15 min read

by | Nov 20, 2019 | Blog

You’re in for a very special treat. You’re literally some of the very first people to see the latest results from the AFCOM State of the Data Center report. This is our fourth iteration of the study and it’s been revamped an updated. Now, if you want to see the whole thing, you’ll have to attend Data Center World in March and hear my keynote. I’ll be discussing the findings and help everyone understand just how far we’ve all come.

Looking ahead into 2020 and beyond, industry leaders are constantly discussing how a data-driven world can help change the way they deliver business solutions and technologies supporting critical environments. Organizations across the world are investing massive amounts of their budgets into deploying smarter, data-driven, solutions. Everything from AI-driven chatbots, to sentiment analysis for market research is being leveraged to create competitive advantages.

But what about the infrastructure supporting it all? Can we give the data center the ability to ‘think?’

A Network of Data, IoT, and Sensors Will Create the Neural Architecture of a ‘Smart’ Data Center

This part is really exciting. According to our report, 76% of respondents believe that new technologies like IoT and smart sensors will greatly impact the data center. If we take a look at the industry and some of the most advanced data centers out there, we see that these technologies are already being used to some extent.

From there, we turn to intelligent systems where respondents discuss how they use these smart and data-driven architectures to create automation for smaller tasks and even automate load-balancing and other functions in multi-tenant environments. They’re saying that this is the gateway to predictive and prescriptive systems and that these smarter data center components will redefine data center management.

I want to open up on that previous point and leave you with one more report preview. Redefining data center management will require an understanding on how capacity, cooling, power, green energy, rack design, and even data center architecture can all be impacted by the power of data. As a method and access to all of this, many organizations use DCIM. However, far beyond traditional insights and data center management solutions, future-thinking data center leaders are already integrating smart sensors with their DCIM solution. In fact, as indicated in the report, many are already doing this with their data center management solution.

There’s also some very interesting mentions and discussions around augmented and even virtual reality solutions designed to support some of the most innovate data center management initiatives. But we’ll save that one for the keynote.

A Fascinating Look Ahead

In the very near future, smart will become the new normal. A new forecast from the IDC Smart Cities Spending Guide shows global spending on smart cities initiatives will reach $189.5 billion in 2023. The top priorities for these initiatives will be resilient energy and infrastructure projects followed by data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation.

Supporting all of this will be applications, data services, and of course, your data center. As much as cloud will also have an impact, edge and colocation sites will continue to play a critical role in a digital economy.

The most important piece of advice moving forward for you, the technologist, will be to have an open mind. Be sure to examine new solutions and technologies that are designed to make your data center smarter, more efficient, and give you the capability to support emerging business initiatives. Our report looked at young people entering the industry, how virtualization and cloud will impact your data center, and what leaders in the space are doing to set themselves apart. However, a big driver behind all of this will be data and all of the sources generating this valuable information. In a data-driven future, be bold and help your data center become smarter.

Airflow Management Awareness Month 2019

Did you miss this year’s live webinars? Watch them on-demand now!

Bill Kleyman, Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions, Switch

Bill Kleyman, Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions, Switch

Industry Analyst | Board Advisory Member | Writer/Blogger/Speaker | Executive | Millennial | Techie

Bill Kleyman brings more than 15 years of experience to his role as Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions at Switch. Using the latest innovations, such as AI, machine learning, data center design, DevOps, cloud and advanced technologies, Mr. Kleyman delivers solutions to customers that help them achieve their business goals and remain competitive in their market. An active member in the technology industry, he was ranked #16 globally in the Onalytica study that reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape; and #4 in another Onalytica study that reviewed the industry’s top Data Security Experts.

Mr. Kleyman enjoys writing, blogging and educating colleagues about everything related to technology. His published and referenced work can be found on WindowsITPro, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, AFCOM, TechTarget, DarkReading, Forbes, CBS Interactive, Slashdot and more.

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