Written by Harry Menear
With the data centre sector continuing to act as custodian for the world’s exponentially growing reserves of valuable data, we caught up with Fredrik Forslund, Vice President of cloud and data centre erasure solutions at Blancco and a director of the International Data Sanitisation Consortium (IDSC), for his expert insights into the year ahead.
What are the three biggest data centre trends you’re seeing on the horizon for 2022?
First, the Global chip shortage. The pandemic continues to wreak havoc, causing product shortages and supply chain slowdowns.
In addition, a global semiconductor shortage has impacted nearly every product that requires sensors, including cars, PCs, tablets and games consoles. Industry experts predict the chip shortage is anticipated to continue well into 2022, which will cause prices to rise. We believe the companies that are struggling with replacing end-of-life equipment will find creative workarounds to alleviate the challenges caused by shortages, including purchasing used or remanufactured equipment and/or extending the life of existing devices with hardware warranties.
We expect that, as enterprises look to employ more sustainable models, this chip shortage will act as a catalyst for greater circular economy engagement in 2022. In 2021, we saw companies turning to different asset classes, such as Chromebooks, to replace older equipment. We anticipate this will continue next year. We also predict more organisations will consider moving a larger percentage of their workloads to the cloud and leverage newer solutions such as virtual desktops (VDI) which allows users to run PCs in the cloud.
Very interesting. What else?
Well, it’s obvious that data centres will remain the core of any infrastructure: Although we start seeing more data, apps or users outside the data centre than inside, it will continue to and should remain the primary location of your critical information and the core of any infrastructure.
No matter if it's a private, hybrid or public cloud data centre, no data should ever leave a data centre under any circumstances. You should also never leave data you no longer need in it, or if you do remove an asset from a data centre such as drives, you need to make sure it has been erased first. It’s not only critical from a security perspective but from a sustainability one too.
The explosion of data means the environmental impact of storing it is only going to get greater. According to Dr Patrick Bresnihan of National University of Ireland, Maynooth, data centres could use 70% of Ireland’s electricity by 2030. In 2022, we therefore expect to see more data centre consolidation from a sustainability as well as a manageability and security point of view where smaller, older data centres will be migrated into more modern and energy-efficient ones.
Speaking of sustainability, anything else to add on that front?
2022 is the year when enterprises go from sustainability rule breakers to rule makers.
Tackling the climate crisis is now a global imperative for all enterprises. The COP26 climate conference made some progress on addressing climate change, with the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact to consign the use of coal to history.
However, we are still some way off in achieving the target of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5C. In 2022, we will see enterprises set clear plans and outline strategies for how they are doing more to prevent climate change.
Enterprises will become rule makers, setting a precedent for more sustainable, greener business operations, with net zero pledges and greater engagement with the circular economy.
Enterprises will start to interrogate their practices at every level to understand how they can go carbon neutral and reduce their impact on the environment. IT will play a critical role in driving this change, through the circular economy and by encouraging the reuse and refurbishment of IT equipment to minimise the environmental impact of the manufacturing of devices and electronics.
E-waste has gone quietly under the radar for too many years, and in 2022, addressing this now fastest growing global waste stream will become an enterprise priority.