Customers with legacy workloads and stringent compliance requirements are making colocation a component of their IT strategies, alongside cloud. Cloud repatriation, for example, is landing workloads in colocation provider’s data centers. In addition, colocation has become a springboard to the cloud for customers who want to move IT assets off site but aren’t quite ready to commit to public cloud platforms. Colocation is also getting a boost from edge computing and the increase in remote workers.
With those factors in mind, here are seven colocation trends set to emerge next year.
1. Market growth
There continues to be strong demand for colocation and data center products and services going into 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated work-from-home economy has accelerated digital transformation, resilience and edge strategies for enterprises and service providers. The speed-up has boosted demand for hybrid IT and as-a-service offerings — areas in which colocation serves as a major pillar, he noted.
2. Interest in remote hands offerings
The continuing COVID-19 pandemic — with the potential for travel restrictions and quarantines — means enterprise customers can’t always rely on their own staff to perform data center duties such as cycling servers and replacing hard drives. As a result, there has been an uptick in remote hands support.
3. Expanded role in remote workforce security
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, business quickly deployed approaches such as VPN tunneling to provide work-from-home employees with secure access to applications. In the coming months, those organizations might look to colocation for more vigorous security next year.
In 2021, there is an expectation that customers will tap colocation to filter traffic through a centralized location. Customers can direct traffic through a VPN or IP routing to the colocation facility, which, equipped with managed firewalls, can control access to websites and cloud-based applications, he said.
4. Evolution of edge computing
Colo facilities will need to weigh the effects of edge computing on colocation use cases, technology and investment strategy.
In 2021, edge computing and its impact will continue to be defined. We will see how different types of workloads will be able to leverage edge computing.
And, the new year will reveal how the continued development of 5G will help push edge computing further along.
Against that backdrop, colocation providers are investing in edge data centers, pursuing markets where hyperscale cloud providers are usually absent.
Many colocation providers target edge markets and make a lot of the investment necessary to be there, as the trend turns more toward massive data consumption under 5G. Tier 2 cities such as Pittsburgh and St Louis are seeing more activity as a result of this trend.
Smaller, locally situated edge data centers that place storage and computing much closer to the end user drastically reduce latency for IoT and other cutting-edge technologies. The need for edge technology will only become greater as we continue into smart era where our day to day devices will be connected and generating data.
5. New-look data centers
Edge data centers emerging in 2021 and beyond will look a bit different than traditional facilities.
Customers making massive deployments into data centers are giving way to “smaller deployments doing specialized functions” that require reduced latency. Customers are moving to fewer cabinets but higher density power utilization.
Data center infrastructure could also experience a steadier shift to physical pods and containers. Industry vendors are poised to make adoption of those technologies easier for colocation providers.
There are innovative solutions from many manufacturers on mechanical infrastructure that should make it less expensive and less risky to deploy edge pods [and/or] containers.
6. AI demands on infrastructure
5G isn’t the only technology shaping colocation trends. AI compute and AI compute as a service will significantly affect data center services. This influence is mainly due to the electrical and mechanical requirements of running AI infrastructure at scale.
Not all colocation providers will be able to support these workloads out of the box without upgrading their infrastructure.
As AI and electric and autonomous vehicles continue their expansion, we will see a boost in demand for low latency and, by extension, edge data centers. 2021 will see explosive growth in the EV (electric vehicle) market as manufacturers release new models to their lineup. These vehicles include AI assistants such as [Apple] Siri, [Amazon] Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as constant communication to support features like navigation and over-the-air software updates.
Low latency, supported by data centers, will become a key factor in the success of EVs and autonomous vehicles.
7. Focus on environmental impact
Colocation providers will be taking a closer look at energy use in 2021.
As we move into next year, we’ll continue to see data center providers innovating to minimize their impact on the environment. Many will be focused on CO2 emissions reduction targets.
Providers will be looking at ways to improve that utilization, whether it is through cooling or improved battery performance. Colocation customers will be including it as part of their initial requests.
The pace of change in the data center and colocation space will continue in 2021 and beyond – and it’s expected to accelerate in the coming years. Intensifying demand for even more digital services and the desire to adopt new technologies while mitigating additional disruption is driving the predicted growth.
Silverback Data Center Solutions
Operating as an extension of your existing IT team, Silverback Remote Hands consultants and technicians focus exclusively on services related to the data center. Confidently free-up your valuable resources to focus on strategic objectives by leveraging the deep portfolio of available Remote Hands services. Through best practices and proven methodologies, our approach to data center services helps strengthen the operations, management, and life-cycle of your data center.
Original article can be found at TechTarget.