Cloud: Three of the most important data centre trends right now 

The number of products, services, technique and technologies associated with data centres is skyrocketing

But when navigating this fast-moving landscape, it can be easy to get lost in the jargon – whether it’s obscure acronyms, vendor-specific words or convoluted analogies. Rather than making cloud more accessible, these often have the opposite effect, making new trends and developments unnecessarily difficult to understand.    

So, with a solemn promise to keep things simple, let’s look at three of the most important data centre trends right now – including why they’re on the rise, and what they mean for the future of cloud.   

Artificial intelligence 

This trend isn’t limited to cloud. Everywhere you look, businesses are harnessing the power of AI in areas including marketing, finance, strategy, IT and more. In fact, according to the McKinsey report, two thirds of senior executives surveyed have said they’re accelerating their investment in automation and AI-based applications following the COVID-19 pandemic.  

When it comes to data centres, AI can play a crucial role in enhancing monitoring and management. Working alongside human technicians, AI applications can easily digest the huge amount of data generated by sensors to optimise cooling, power, workloads and even security – learning from past situations to improve future efficiency.   

This has several key benefits. First and foremost, given the current dearth of IT and data talent, implementing AI applications to undertake monotonous monitoring and management tasks enables both data centre providers and customers to ease the burden on overstretched staff, while also keeping teams as lean as possible.   

Furthermore, by ensuring energy wastage is kept to an absolute minimum, AI can help reduce data centres’ carbon footprint. This is more important than ever, as sustainability becomes a key consideration for all companies – including data centre operators.   

Linking both these benefits is increased cost efficiency. With salaries on the rise and soaring energy prices, CIOs are facing serious pressure to cut costs and keep within their IT budgets. Using AI to support data centre operations ensures long-term costs are lower and more predictable.   

So, it’s no surprise that many forward-thinking data centre operators have already implemented some AI applications, most commonly to handle cooling. Looking forward, we can expect the popularity of these to explode. In fact, a recent Gartner study found that 50% of the world’s data centres will be using artificial intelligence and robotics by 2025.   

Disaster recovery 

Whether it’s a successful cyber-attack, system interruption or failure, every company will eventually suffer a setback in their IT systems.   

Unfortunately, cyber-attacks have become an ever-present threat, with well-resourced criminals constantly adapting their tactics to leave companies on the back foot. Meanwhile, cloud system interruptions or failures – which happen for a multitude of reasons, including power outages, human error, software glitches and networking issues – can be catastrophic, causing business operations to grind to a halt.   

In the past, companies have concentrated on implementing measures to prevent IT disasters from occurring in the first place. But in the current landscape, they must also shift their focus to disaster recovery. This means developing a robust plan to restore the functionality of their cloud systems before a disaster happens. Increasingly, cloud providers are offering disaster recovery “as a service” – enabling companies to back up their cloud data in a separate environment, as well as offering seamless disaster recovery orchestration.  

Cloud native 

Chances are you’ve heard the phrase “cloud native” recently. In a nutshell, this refers to any software that’s developed specifically for the cloud, rather than for an on-premises data centre.   

Cloud native software is designed to take advantage of the inherent scalability, flexibility and agility of public, private and hybrid cloud environments. It uses a combination of technologies (cloud platforms, kubernetes, microservices etc.) and techniques (like devops) that enable quality applications to be developed and distributed at speed. 

Cloud native software is the backbone of the “as a service” model, which is continuing to grow in popularity. We’re seeing a seismic shift in how companies purchase and use the cloud, with many opting for IaaS (cloud infrastructure made available as a service), PaaS (software platforms provided via the Internet as a service) and SaaS (software delivered as a cloud service).   

Why? The above cloud “as a service” offerings release companies from the burden of running their own data centre, and can be customised to meet their specific needs. What’s more, they enable companies to spread the cost of services over a monthly basis – which is appealing at a time when budgets are particularly stretched.   

What’s next? 

“Efficiency” is the single word that unites these three data centre trends. When the COVID-19 pandemic started back in 2020, data centre operators were hyper-focused on meeting increased demand. Now that we’ve grown used to a new way of working, they’re turning their attention to driving efficiency in all areas – minimising costs, energy use, disruptions and more. This trend is likely to continue for the rest of the year and beyond.  

About the Author

Massimo Bandinelli is currently the Marketing Manager at Aruba Enterprise, a position he has held for the last 5 years. With over 20 years of experience in management and marketing across the entire domains and hosting sectors, Massimo brings invaluable expertise and leadership to the company. At Aruba, he is an expert in Cloud, Data Centre and Trust Services products and the development of related markets. He previously worked at companies such as Dada Group, and

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