Artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing are the most anticipated potential disruptors to the data center business over the next 3-5 years. The majority of colocation providers are seeking sustainable power options for their data centers.
These are just two insights shared by attendees during our recent Innovation Day: Cloud and Service Providers event in May. More than 20 colocation providers and key members of the value chain (electrical contractors and consulting engineers) representing 17 different companies gathered to talk about current market challenges and opportunities. Also discussed were the technologies poised to have the biggest impact in the future.
A Forum to Connect Industry Peers and Gather Shared Interests
As rapidly growing markets and fluctuating enterprise needs change, colocation providers’ own business requirements are changing as well. This forum offered to connect industry peers and colleagues so they can examine common pain points, hash out resolutions, and strategize to get ahead of the pace. Additionally, directly hearing from our customers allows us at Schneider Electric find new ways to help them innovate.
Key learnings from customers participating in the Innovation Day focused around technology solutions:
- Most attendees felt that an integrated software dashboard (DCIM, PME and BMS) was extremely important for their businesses.
- The majority of attendees said they are deploying LV/MV and UPS skids, with only a third deploying IT modules.
- Rack-ready systems designed to deploy IT at scale (such as our HyperPod solution) and intelligent breakers were of great interest to attendees.
Approaching the Point of Diminishing Returns on Efficiency
Sessions throughout the day focused on our EcoStruxure™ solution for IT and power, along with presentations around microgrid, prefabricated modules, and the future state of UPS.
But the key, opening presentation was led by dual keynotes – David Hall, Senior Director Technology Innovation at Equinix spoke on AI and Kevin Brown, Senior Vice President of Innovation and CTO at Schneider Electric – who presented on the future of data center performance.
Brown considered the progress that’s been made in data centers over the past decade — from first hearing about cloud computing to now talking about edge. Performance and efficiency improvements have been tremendous, with UPS advances, containment and economization resulting in about an 80% reduction in losses.
Given that we have increased physical infrastructure efficiency by about 80% through more efficient architectures and products, Brown concluded that on the existing path with current strategies, we’re probably approaching the point of diminishing returns.
So what will follow?
Understanding What’s Next for Data Center Performance
Watch and listen to Brown as he delves into what it will take to reach the next 80% of improvements. In addition, look for a future blog wherein David Hall of Equinix addresses exactly how AI will continue to disrupt and impact the data center.