Vladimir Timofeev/Dreamstime
Data center

Demand Skyrockets for Data-Center Infrastructure-Management Solutions

July 23, 2021
With the COVID-19 pandemic prompting both large- and small-scale industries to shift from office premises to working remotely, we’re likely to see major data-center infrastructure upgrades continue this year and beyond.

What you’ll learn: 

  • What is the current state of the data-center infrastructure market?
  • How has COVID-19 augmented data-center infrastructure demand?
  • Impact of healthcare on data-center infrastructure?

“Online life” emerged as the new normal during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many businesses to turn to digital platforms to continue their operations remotely. This new shift put more pressure on data centers and equipment providers to keep up with the much heavier data flow.

It’s been estimated that data-center IP traffic would reach 19.5 zettabytes in 2021. Moreover, cloud data-center traffic would also represent 95% of the total data-center traffic by 2021, globally.

As a result, a number of tech giants have put substantial investments toward the construction of new—and overhaul of existing—data centers worldwide. In early 2021, the world’s largest data-center operators, led by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook, announced spending a record $37 billion for establishment of new data centers.

Such a prolific surge in number of the data centers being established would also require proper infrastructure solutions to handle it all, including both hardware and software to ensure seamless operation. It’s been suggested that the global data-center infrastructure market will have an annual valuation of $US100 billion by 2027.

Novel Innovations Across Data-Center Infrastructure

In 2019, DXC Technology announced the expansion of data-center infrastructure services in North America by inking a long-term agreement with Credit Suisse Inc., with DXC taking over a New Jersey data center from Credit Suisse. As per a report by Business Wire, the transaction was poised to expand the market presence of DXC to cater to its enterprise clients demanding mission-critical infrastructure solutions with proximity to the New York metropolitan market.

The move could have inadvertently prepared the companies to serve the unprecedented demand emerging from the sudden COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on networks.

DPUs Arrive in 2020

NVIDIA pioneered a new processor that positions a data center as the new unit of computing on a single chip. Revealed at GTC 2020, the firm rolled out details about its new data-processing units (DPUs) that support NVIDIA’s data-center infrastructure-on-a-chip software called DOCA.

In fact, the company’s three-year DPU agreement consists of the NVIDIA BlueField-2 fraternity of DPUs, including its DOCA software development kit. The kit has been developed to build applications on DPU-enhanced, accelerated data center infrastructure services.

After the successful launch of the BlueField-2 DPU, NVIDIA, unveiled its next-gen data processing unit—the BlueField-3 DPU—to offer the most powerful software-defined storage, networking, and cybersecurity acceleration capabilities available for data centers. The new DPU has been optimized for cloud-native, multi-tenant environments, offering software-defined security, management, and storage services at data-center scale.

Data-Center Infrastructure-Management Solutions and Software

Data-center infrastructure-management (DCIM) software is largely used to organize, manage, and monitor the components of a data center. These tools are implemented for multiple purposes, including asset management, hardware maintenance, and performance monitoring.

DCIM also promotes energy efficiency—it’s considered a holistic solution that tracks and manages both facility- and IT-based assets. In addition, the software automates the planning for new assets and removal of old assets. Due to these significant benefits, various data-center providers and organizations have pouring their efforts into creating DCIM solutions.

For instance, in 2020, Nlyte Software announced partnering with Automated Logic to introduce an integrated data-center management (IDCM) solution to augment operational transparency and reduce costs. Integrating Automated Logic’s building automation system and Nlyte’s DCIM software would help data-center clients improve uptime in their data centers, leading to additional energy savings.

Why are DCIM Solutions Pivotal in the Healthcare Industry?

The entire healthcare industry is undergoing top-to-bottom renovation, thanks to digitalization, a changing demographic landscape, the advent of IT solutions, and timely legislation. In 2018, industry analysts predicted that the healthcare industry would spend over $2.7 trillion per year on IT infrastructure, including data centers, by year-end 2020. 

Organizations catering to the healthcare sector have been leveraging converged systems for a variety of use cases, from reducing space to improve data-center efficiency to creating enhanced density and virtualization solutions. Recently, Rackspace Technology, a multi-cloud technology solutions provider, announced it collaborated with Apria Healthcare to modernize its legacy IT infrastructure, leading to a 32% reduction in operating costs.

The volume of data and data transmission continues to ramp up across the globe, leading to more investments in the data center and its infrastructure. And that means more demand for cooling and power solutions that are highly efficient, environmentally friendly, and cut down the overall ownership cost.

This article appeared in Electronic Design.

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