As a leading provider of server appliances, data center hardware, and applications, UNICOM Engineering has a keen interest in trends involving data center utilization and capacity. A recently completed study by the research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that the total number of data centers in the U.S. will decline from a current level of 2.94 million to 2.89 million in the next four years. UNICOM Engineering has investigated this claim and believes that the IDC projections are correct based on the following facts and trends concerning data centers and their usage (reported by IDC and others), however, there are other variables that factor into the evolution of this recent trend:
- Although the actual number of data centers is decreasing, the space occupied by data centers is projected to increase from the current level of 611 million square feet to over 700 million square feet during the same time period, according to IDC. UNICOM Engineering believes this is due in large part to the ever-increasing number of service providers, particularly cloud-service providers offering infrastructure-as-a-service. These providers are building high-capacity mega-centers to replace smaller, underutilized capacity at remote locations. IDC projects that, by 2016, over 25 percent of all storage capacity will be owned and operated by service providers.
- The technology of CPU micro-architecture design is rapidly evolving, allowing more computing in a smaller footprint. The current architecture allows for up to 16 cores in some processors, a number that will continue to increase with time, along with the corresponding number of compute nodes provided for processing. UNICOM Engineering also notes that data storage technology is moving from traditional hard disk-and-tape storage systems to solid-state drives, a trend that is also reducing the footprint size of servers and other data center hardware.
- Enterprises are moving business-critical applications to larger, centralized data centers, reducing or eliminating entirely the need for peripheral or satellite data centers. These data-intense applications are much better handled in large, centralized locations to reduce latency.
- Economic realities are driving businesses and providers alike to look for methods to consolidate servers and thus reduce the cost of storage per terabyte. Because a data center requires operations and maintenance staff to be available continuously, reducing the overall number of data centers reduces this overhead. In addition, electricity for power and cooling needs as well as UPS demands are substantially diminished as the size of the data center grows. And we believe the use of High Voltage 380VDC in the Data Center will further reduce the footprint needed.
UNICOM Engineering is a leading provider of application platforms, deployment solutions, and lifecycle support services for software technology developers and OEMs worldwide. For more information about how UNICOM Engineering can assist your company with global support services, visit our website, or contact our team at (800) 977-1010.