Nov 24, 2020

Hyperscale activity may level out in 2021

Data Centres
Harry Menear
3 min
A new industry report from CBRE suggests the growth in hyperscale activity will plateau next year
A new industry report from CBRE suggests the growth in hyperscale activity will plateau next year...

The driving forces that led to 2020’s massive spike in data centre hyper scaling will quieten down over the next 12 months as demand required for remote workforces has been satisfied, according to the latest report by CBRE.

However, with 373.6 MW of data centre development still taking place in the US, the market is still expected to grow by 13% in 2021. 

The report found that adoption of hybrid IT and cloud services as well as the demand for AI technology and a dispersed workforce, will see continued expansions, but at a less aggressive rate for the next five years. 

However, the trends within the US data centre industry are shifting, with smaller secondary markets that use low-cost energy, tax incentives and affordable land prices experiencing the most growth.

Broad use facilities

Data centres that offer a wide range of services are also expected to experience higher demands in services. High connectivity and close proximity to cloud on-ramps, as well as facilities that provide the latest 5G-compatible technology, will profit more than less evolved centres, the report found. 

According to Justin Jenkins, UK President and COO Europe, Vantage Data Centres, adaptability to new technology will be the determining factor in facilities thriving and surviving in 2021. He says; “As the nervous system of the digital universe, hyperscale facilities must be highly connected, served by diverse high-speed low latency fibre networks capable of receiving and sending large volumes of data around the globe in a matter of milliseconds.”

He explains, “By default, they will be points of presence (PoPs) for leading international carriers and provide access to hundreds of ISPs. Deployment of cloud gateways that bypass the public Internet and connect directly into public cloud subsea cable infrastructure, such as Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, will also be a prerequisite.”  

Investor interest has grown by 28% in 2020, particularly in markets where providers offer strong credit ratings and high-quality assets. 

As the data centre market searches for more power-dense facilities, providers are also looking into renewable, lower-cost energy and sustainable solutions. Evidence suggests that those providers investing in green energy will also benefit from lower storage costs and increased efficiency.

Jenkins says, “Imagine a data centre that captures the heat generated by servers and uses it as a supplemental source of power. While this may not be economically feasible today, continuously trying to bring ideas like this to reality are essential to bring about positive change. Making data centres as environmentally friendly and energy efficient as possible must remain a major focus of the industry globally, helped by government incentives such as those in the EU surrounding the use of renewably sourced power.”

Trends to watch

Hyperscale customers are at a crossroads – and this will be played out in 2021, the report suggests. It seems likely that colocation services will be used as a short term solution for many consumers, who may decide to manage their data storage in traditional hyperscale facilities rather than in wholesale centres.

Pricing trends will also change with a bifurcation of revenue going to hyperscale wholesalers and smaller enterprise clients. 

The report also suggests that cloud migration will be a sector to watch, with a rise in cloud services affecting leasing numbers for enterprise users. However, industry leaders are also advised to watch the markets carefully to determine the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is causing a recession and therefore will see many businesses fail. 

Naveen Mishra, senior research director at Gartner, says, “The priority for most companies in 2020 is keeping the lights on, so data centre growth is generally being pushed back until the market enters the recovery period.”

He adds, “Much of the reduced demand in 2020 is expected to return in 2021 when staff can physically be onsite. For now, all data centre infrastructure segments will be subject to cost containment measures and enterprise buyers are expected to extend life cycles of installed equipment.”

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Jun 20, 2021

Schneider Electric reveals new IT Innovation report

3 min
Schneider Electric has released the Digital Economy and Climate Impact report revealing new innovations for sustainability and resiliency in data centres

Schneider Electric has released a new IT innovations report titled “Digital Economy and Climate Impact”, with the aim of gaining an understanding of how digitised and smart applications will be powered in the future. The company says that the report predicts that IT sector-related electricity demand is expected to increase by almost 50% by 2030. 

Despite this, the report also shows that emissions would not increase by more than 26% by the same year, following the decarbonisation of the electricity system. In an attempt to reduce this rise in emissions the Schneider Electric TM Sustainability Research Institute recommends continued efforts in achieving efficiencies on the IT and energy sides at both the component and system levels. 

The report highlights how the rise of edge computing technologies require a “specific focus” due to these systems being less efficient than hyperscale data centres. “When the world locked down, it also logged on and internet traffic soared,” said Pankaj Sharma, EVP, Secure Power, Schneider Electric. 

“It’s misleading to assume that digital activity will inevitably result in a deeply problematic increase in CO2 emissions. The analysis from the Schneider Electric Sustainability Institute puts to rest many of the worst-case scenario claims predicting IT-related electricity use will double every five years. That said, as an industry, we must remain vigilant in finding new sources of sustainability gains while ensuring resiliency as digital keeps life moving forward”, he added. 

As well as the release of the report, Schneider Electric also announced several updates to its EcoStruxure IT data center infrastructure management software, Galaxy VL 3-phase uninterruptable power supply (UPS), introducing an industry-leading single-phase UPS, the APC™ Smart-UPS™ Ultra. All introductions are designed to advance the industry forward in meeting sustainability goals while increasing the resiliency of IT and data centre infrastructure, the company said. 

Managing hybrid data center and edge IT environments

Also showcased in Schneider Electric’s report are the increasing demands on digital consumption. According to the company, these create a more complex hybrid environment inclusive of enterprise, cloud, and edge data centres. Addressing the unique management challenges of a hybrid IT environment, Schneider Electric has announced updates to its EcoStruxure IT software to increase efficiency and resiliency, including:

  • Increased remote management capabilities: New granular remote device configuration features enable users to change configurations on one or more devices – including the new Galaxy VL and APC Smart-UPS Ultra single-phase UPS units – from one centralised platform with EcoStruxure IT Expert. This update, combined with previously released software insights on device security health, enables the user to identify faulty devices or configurations and address them in a matter of clicks, keeping their hybrid IT environment secure.
  • Improved environmental monitoring: Environmental monitoring systems ensure users have eyes and ears on data centre and IT deployments from anywhere, anytime. With this update, users can push mass configurations remotely for NetBotz cameras 750 and 755 quickly and efficiently increasing security across the critical infrastructure.
  • Enhanced remote capacity modeling and planning: With EcoStruxure IT Advisor’s new capabilities, users can remotely compare an unlimited number of racks and easily identify available capacity, view what assets are deployed and their dependencies.

Sharma concluded: “Schneider Electric has been focused on sustainability for the past 15 years and was recently named the most sustainable corporation in the world. We have embraced the mindset that future innovation will deliver better efficiency across the broader connectivity landscape. By making smart intentional choices, our industry can help mitigate how much electricity and emissions result from the rising appetite for digital technologies”.

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