The Closely Guarded Data Centers industry is going through a revolution. With the 5G domino effect and Edge computing, location is more important than ever. Getting it right means micro-segmenting resources, enforcing strict access controls, and inspecting network traffic.
Location and the Site
Location is one of the most critical factors in the success of a data center. Not only does the site have to be safe for its data, but it should also be well protected against weather-related hazards. Data centers located near landslides and hot geological zones should be avoided. They should also be protected from earthquakes. The location should also blend in with its surroundings. Before choosing a place for your data center, look at the facility’s construction and compliance reports.
Location is also critical in terms of cost and connectivity. The closer a data center is to a business location, the less money it will cost. However, this proximity will also result in increased utility and telecommunication costs. Furthermore, it can also have legal implications.
5G Domino Effect
The 5G revolution creates a domino effect across existing and new data center infrastructure. The new standard requires data centers to become more agile and close to end users. As a result, data centers must prepare for the new standard by upgrading routers, switches, and networks. These changes will require more power infrastructure and higher-performance data processing.
Data centers that were built for 4G must be able to handle the increased data volume with minimal latency. The new infrastructure must handle 5G’s super-high-frequency and short-wavelength communication signals. This means that data centers will need multiple input and output antennas. In addition, there will be more small cells deployed around public infrastructure.
Edge computing is a new way to store and process data in the most efficient manner possible. This new technique relies on a physical location called an “Internet exchange point,” which connects multiple networks. Edge data centers can be as small as a computer box and can process data at extremely low latency. They’re also more power efficient than traditional data centers and offer new opportunities to businesses.
Edge computing is driven by the need to support emerging use cases. Conventional data centers are well-suited for processing massive amounts of data, but some emerging use cases need lower latency. The move to edge computing places higher computes data closer to the edge of networks to accommodate these emerging use cases. Another driver of edge computing is the upcoming 5G wireless rollouts.
Powering the Edge
Edge data centers are more minor, decentralized facilities that provide computing and storage closer to end users. They improve performance, operating costs, and security, enabling new applications that require low latency and real-time data processing. Edge data centers can be deployed at central telecommunications offices, cable headends, base stations for cell towers, and enterprise data centers.
These edge data centers are becoming a trend, especially in a 5G environment where latency can be minimized. For example, a micro-edge data center can support 100 kW of power and be 360 square feet in area. The facility’s fit-out typically includes eight usable cabinets and twenty quarter-cabinet lockers. Each full cabinet has a capacity of 500 GB.
Data centers need to do their part to protect the environment. To do this, they must reduce their reliance on power generated by diesel generators or utility power sources. To achieve these goals, data centers need to implement new energy efficiency measures and improve PUE. Fortunately, many data centers are taking steps to achieve these goals.
Data centers play a vital role in the zero-carbon transition. Reducing their greenhouse gas emissions is good for the world and business. Science-based targets help companies figure out how much they need to reduce emissions and how fast. By doing so, they can avoid the worst effects of climate change and future-proof their business models.
Supply Chain Pressures
As the world’s data center industry grows and modernizes, it must deal with a growing supply chain crisis: inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain constraints all impact this sector. Data center projects often take place outside areas with cheap land and may require imported workers.
While some companies face supply shortages and delays, others cope with growing demand. For example, Google plans to invest $9.5 billion in U.S. offices this year. Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has opened two more data centers in Temple, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri. This demand is only set to continue growing despite the tight physical development environment.