With a rapidly changing business climate that includes data, cloud and analytics, data centers are expected to undergo numerous changes in the next few years to adapt. However, it can be difficult to predict what those changes might be.
Following are some of the biggest variables that could impact data centers in the immediate future.
The Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet rules forbid Internet service providers from favoring some Internet traffic in exchange for payment (that’s just one provision of the rules that are also known as net neutrality law). But several companies are challenging the rules, which, if overturned, could result in a tiered pricing system that leaves small businesses with less bandwidth than their larger competitors. If that happens, data centers may see an uptick in businesses that need colocation centers in order to have more bandwidth access.
The lawsuit against the federal government, which could take years to settle, was filed recently by the industry trade group USTelecom, whose membership includes ATT, Verizon and other large Internet providers. A smaller internet provider headquartered in Texas, Alamo Broadband, filed suit against the Federal Communications Commissions.
Data centers use a tremendous amount of electricity, and as more data centers pop up across the United States, they will be under pressure to mitigate energy consumption.
In April, President Barack Obama signed the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation requires the Secretary of Energy’s office to collect information on data centers and other buildings known to use a lot of energy. The legislation also requires the creation of a “Tenant Star” program, which, like the EPA’s Energy Star program, will reward adopters of green technology.
Existing data centers may need to modify their current spaces to attract new clients, because the Tenant Star program rewards businesses that rent space in green buildings. As such, some data centers are already pursuing LEED certification, which means a business follows all recommendations established by the U.S. Green Building Council.
At the same time, many enterprises are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, therefore seeking alternative solutions, including outsourcing or making more efficient use of the cloud as an option.
Since colocation centers have the resources to upgrade to efficient power and cooling systems, they're able to provide lower energy consumption per unit of computing power than individual companies can maintain.
China is working hard to attract big business data warehousing, but U.S. officials worry about the security of Chinese data centers. And companies around the world are now suspicious of U.S.-based technology companies, after former CIA employee Edward Snowden leaked details about government surveillance activities that involved big names like Microsoft and Dell (neither of which was proven to be complicit in spying).
This mistrust is what’s known as the “Snowden Effect.” In the U.S., it’s the reason some companies would prefer to use a smaller colocation center for their data storage needs, rather than a large corporate data center. Expect to see more localized colocation centers being built in the next few years.
As technologies continue to evolve, companies will need to keep up to minimize disruptions and maximize productions. As a result, IT teams in charge of data centers will need to keep up with a more agile and innovative workforce.
Larger companies like PayPal already have announced changes to their data centers that will allow its workforce to move more quickly in executing product cycles. The company’s leadership said the new system is seven times faster than it was a year ago.
It is expected that many more companies, both large and small, will need to make necessary changes to their data centers to improve productivity through an agile development model that is increasingly replacing the traditional waterfall development model.
Whatever changes are on the horizon, Lifeline Data Centers is prepared. From pursuing LEED certification to implementing new methods of security, Lifeline offers the peace of mind many business leaders are looking for. Schedule a tour today, and see what we have to offer.