5 Ways 5G Technology Will Affect Data Centers
October 18, 2019

5G, the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, is expected to hit the market worldwide in 2020. The faster connections and lower latency provided by 5G will revolutionize every industry from retail and transportation to entertainment and healthcare. According to IHS, 5G is expected to create $12.3 trillion, in global economic output and 22 million jobs by 2035.

How will the data center industry be affected by the emergence of 5G technology? Here are five ways in which 5G technology is going to impact data centers in the very near future:

  • Increased capacity requirements. As 5G will greatly speed up the data transmission process for technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and new content formats, there will be an increased need for IT infrastructure capacity to support it. Estimates are that IT infrastructure spending will increase between 20% and 50% annually reaching $326 billion by 2025. Due to the ever-increasing complexity of modern data center environments, Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software will be a must-have for capacity management.
  • Larger focus on edge computing. Given the real-time nature of 5G use cases, much of the increased IT infrastructure spending will be aimed at moving IT services to the edge. The sheer amount of data being transmitted in a 5G world will be prohibitively costly with today’s traditional centralized networks. By moving IT to the edge and reducing the distance to the user, lower latency can be ensured, costs can be reduced, and security can be improved. DCIM software will be a valuable tool for data center professionals who need to monitor and manage their edge data centers remotely.
  • Larger carbon footprint. The increase in resources for 5G is likely to result in an increased environmental impact. New data center constructions and retrofits for 5G readiness will need to be done with energy efficiency and sustainability as a goal. The energy management capabilities of DCIM should be leveraged to ensure optimal energy and cost savings while supporting corporate sustainability initiatives and government regulations.
  • Increased staffing challenges. As data center resources expand and edge data center constructions increase, staffing the data center properly will become a priority and the talent pool of candidates with 5G experience will be relatively small. Since transferring technicians from 4G projects to work on 5G buildouts could have negative effects, it is important to begin recruiting and training new employees to focus specifically on the 5G rollout.
  • 5G-capable colocation data centers will have a competitive advantage. The race to 5G will lead to good market competition. The data centers that reach 5G-readiness first will have a distinct competitive edge over their 4G counterparts. 5G’s enhancements will be easily marketable to early adopters, though there may be a challenge in acquiring customers that prefer battle-tested and stable technologies like 4G LTE.

Are you prepared for 5G? Take a test drive of Sunbird's second-generation DCIM to see how it radically simplifies data center management and helps you overcome the challenges of 5G.

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