When I went to school, I had books and access to a Library. My children went to school with Laptops and access to the Internet. That is a revolution in just one generation which has social and industrial impact.
The revolutionary connected infrastructure that delivered that revolution is predominantly fibre, the nervous system of the internet. We hear the term ‘Cloud’ and the perception that data and processing is performed in the ether. In reality, the ‘Cloud is on the ground’ and mainly in specialized facilities call Data Centers. The Cloud and the Internet would not be able to function without Data Centers which are the heart and lungs supporting all infrastructure including the CPU brains inside servers within rack enclosures.
What is a Data Center? I do not want to quote the Wikipedia definition of a ‘Data Centre is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls.’
The question of ‘what is’ I want to expand as follows: “a Data Centre is”
- Data Driven Critical infrastructure
- A Data Factory that processes digital workloads
- Moving Photons & Electrons (the Strawberry) processing Applications & Services
- Engines of an outsourcing digital revolution
- An Asset Class
If we look at just the potential Data Center Impact from the arriving ‘The Internet of things’ (IoT) as a segment model and think of what a future revolution might look like with today’s crop of emerging technology combined with the context of a data driven society & commercial world then the Data Center landscape will see change.
The Data Center sector is very young and in industrial revolution/human terms is still a toddler, aware of the world around it and its place within it while exploring all avenues before finding or being placed on a path. Predicting the future is always going to be subjective and a risky activity.
What is clear is that our increasing dependency of all things digital and the massive growth of digitalization are driving volumes and with volumes we will see more commoditization of that Data. Data as a commodity demands ‘Data-as-a-utility’.