2017: Year of development for the data centre?

2016 saw the rise of virtual and augmented reality (VR) (AR) into the mainstream consumer and business market, Brexit and the knock-on impact this has had on business confidence and the ever-growing technologies underpinning the data centre. But what does 2017 hold and how can data centre managers and technology businesses capitalise on these changes? Aegis Data’s CEO, Greg McCulloch takes a look.

Virtual and augmented reality really came into the mainstream in 2016 with the global success of Pokémon GO. Its rise wasn’t a smooth journey with delays in the UK due to server overloads causing great angst amongst consumers. The hype surrounding the app opened a whole new market for data centre providers realising the vast opportunities behind the latest mobile craze. Next year is likely to see a slew of new VR and AR games that will be just as data hungry, or more so as the technology develops.

Brexit caused uncertainty the world over, politically, economically and socially. For the data centre industry, however, the impact to date has been limited. Large technology companies have continued to invest in the UK data centre market. Just recently, IBM confirmed it would build four new data centres in the UK, along with Amazon’s commitment to the sector and Equinix’s £26million expansion of existing sites. Smaller providers are more likely to feel the pinch when Article 50 is finally triggered sometime in the new year and the real negotiations begin, but for now it is very much business as normal.

Data centre 2.0 has been a talking point in 2016 with issues such as high performance computing (HPC) the Open Compute Project (OCP), hyperconverged infrastructure and software defined data centres (SDDC) featuring more heavily amongst providers’ offerings. The desire to provide faster, more efficient centres to power the data hungry technologies that are coming through are promoting changes to the traditional structure and design of facilities. By offering HPC, data centre operators can provide high power levels typically reserved for research facilities and government organisations, enabling industries such as the gaming sector to be more confident in a sites ability to provide secure power during high demand.

Overall, 2017 is set to see the consolidation of the external technologies deployed in 2016, but also the growth of internal technologies that are resulting in a smarter, more versatile data centre that is being encapsulated in 2.0.

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