5 Important Data Center Management Trends for 2023
As we reflect on 2022, it’s important to identify the latest data center trends that will continue to impact how data centers are managed in 2023 and beyond.
You must stay up to date on new industry trends in order to better support your organization and customers while staying competitive in your field.
Here are five data center management trends that you should know about going into the new year.
Data centers in the US are responsible for 2% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions and global data centers consume 3% of the world’s electricity. Many organizations now have corporate sustainability objectives to improve these figures. As such, reporting on and reducing data center sustainability is a top priority for many industry professionals.
Creating a more sustainable data center can start with measuring key data center sustainability metrics such as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). With this information, you can know how efficient your data center currently is, monitor the impact of sustainability initiatives, and track your progress over time.
If your carbon footprint needs to be reduced, steps to achieve that include upgrading to more efficient equipment, using renewable energy sources, virtualizing and consolidating servers, safely raising temperatures, and optimizing airflow efficiency. Reducing water usage, heat waste, and e-waste are also priorities for organizations.
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software is commonly used to support sustainability initiatives. With DCIM software, you can automatically calculate PUE in real-time, track your carbon footprint, easily identify ghost servers and power hogs, drive efficient behavior with customer bill back reports, and leverage measured data to make more informed energy management decisions.
Read how Vodafone used DCIM software to drive sustainability in their global data centers.
Automation within the data center continues to be a focal point for industry professionals as they aim to increase operational efficiency by automating routine procedures such as data entry, auditing, monitoring, and reporting.
According to Cisco, 49% of organizations already deploy automation and that number is likely to grow in 2023.
Automation via integration is achieved by deploying and integrating modern DCIM software with out-of-the-box connectors and APIs that automatically populate data in the appropriate systems such as CMDBs, ticketing systems, Dev Ops tools, and BMS systems. The benefits of data center automation are wide-ranging and include enabling a single source of truth, improve workflow and collaboration across functional teams, and better utilization of existing resources.
Top use cases of data center automation include provisioning and orchestration, virtual machine management, parts management, server power budgeting, scheduled charts and reports, and thresholds and alerts.
Watch how Workday has automated their data center operations.
3. Liquid and immersion cooling
As rack densities increase, rack temperatures are exceeding what can be cooled with traditional air cooling methods. As such, liquid and immersion cooling technologies have become increasingly popular in data centers as they are more efficient and utilize less space than air cooling equipment.
It is predicted that in 2023 and beyond, data centers will simultaneously deploy liquid cooling on high-density racks and traditional cooling on low-density racks. However, as this technology is still emerging, it’s important to understand the various liquid cooling processes.
Data center liquid cooling is the process in which liquid coolant is used to remove heat from server components. Data center immersion cooling is another liquid cooling method that involves submerging server components in a dielectric coolant that protects the equipment.
Immersion cooling can be either single-phase or two-phase. Single-phase means that the state of matter of the liquid coolant remains the same. This method of cooling is simpler than two-phase, more affordable, and easier to maintain. Two-phase immersion cooling, also known as evaporative cooling or flow-boiling, is ideal for high-density racks since it has a higher cooling capacity but is very expensive and potentially harmful for the environment.
As these cooling innovations become more common in data centers, you need to know which method is most effective and beneficial for your facility. Factors such as space, budget, and equipment will all play a part in determining which cooling process is best.
4. Edge computing
About 10% of data is currently created and processed outside of the traditional data center or cloud and this is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. Gartner reports that by 2025, more than 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created at the edge.
Edge data centers are small data centers typically placed close to the local area they serve. They are often part of a larger deployment within a complex network including a central enterprise data center.
Edge data center deployments are on the rise because they offer reduced latency and increased efficiency. End users demand access to data and services from anywhere at any time, leaving no room for delays. Edge computing solves this pain point by delivering a high-performance and cost-effective way to provide customers with immediate access to data, content, and services. However, they must be remotely managed which can be a serious challenge for some.
However, remotely managing tens, hundreds, or even thousands of edge sites is easy with DCIM software because you can centrally manage your global data center environment in a single pane of glass. DCIM software enables you to easily manage all your resources and capacities across all your sites in to improve uptime, capacity utilization, and productivity.
See how Akamai and Comcast use DCIM software to manage their edge infrastructure.
5. Security and data protection
The amount of data being stored around the world is increasing exponentially. The volume of data that is generated worldwide is expected to pass 180 zettabytes by 2025. This equates to an annual growth rate of 40%. An increase of this size naturally leads to more vulnerability to data breaches and disasters, making security and disaster recovery plans even more critical.
A disaster recovery plan is a structured plan of action for data center managers to follow in the case of a disaster or emergency. It reflects a data center’s ability to react and resolve issues quickly to lessen the damage as much as possible. Should a cyber-attack or power outage occur, and a data center manager is ill-prepared, it could lead to consequences such as downtime, revenue loss, and data vulnerability.
There are several things you should consider when creating your disaster recovery plan such as your Business Impact Analysis (BIA), Risk Analysis (RA), Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and others. Compiling these assessments can help create a clear status of your facility to distribute to all data center staff. This leads to the actual making of the disaster recovery plan which should include components such as:
- Overview of the plan, goals, and policy statement
- Specific actions items that should be taken if a disaster or emergency takes place
- Contact information for anyone who has been assigned a task
- Diagram of the network and recovery site
- Personnel to represent the organization to the press and communicate to all internal and external contacts
The Uptime Institute reported that in 2021, an estimated 40% of outages or interruptions have cost companies between $100,000 and $1 million, and another 17% of outages have cost over $1 million. Data center managers must be prepared to take action if a disaster happens to their facility. Failing to do so can lead to security vulnerabilities, financial losses, and downtime, and tier-certified data centers are at risk of losing certification.
DCIM software should be used to support your disaster recovery plan. It can improve uptime by constantly monitoring critical infrastructure and providing a clear view of the facility’s health status so you can be the first to know of potential incidents and proactively take steps to mitigate risk.
Bringing It All Together
These five trends are prominent and here to stay in the data center industry. By acknowledging these trends and actively working towards them, you can meet your objectives, stay competitive with knowledge of the latest technologies, and become an industry-leading data center manager.
Have a successful year in 2023 by learning more about how second-generation DCIM software helps you achieve your goals for your data center. Get your free test drive today.