Data center Statistics Facts and Trends for 2018 and 2017
When it comes to handling Big Data, data centers are big business. As the world continues to become even more technical, the amount of data generated and handled by businesses will continue to increase, and it all needs somewhere to go. What is the likely future of data centers? This article examines six 2017 statistics that provide valuable insights about the data center market.
1. According to an analysis of likely 2017 trends in the data center market published by Data Center Dynamics in late December 2016, the proliferation in 2016 of Big Data applications and data analysis tools requires a shift from focusing on computational power to emphasizing storage. This will mean a continuation of the change from traditional magnetic storage to newer, more efficient flash architecture. The objective is to improve the performance and scalability of storage while reducing operating costs. In addition, there will be increased emphasis on distributing storage resources in order to keep data close to where it is needed but still stored safely and efficiently. A hybrid model will likely prevail in the near-term as companies explore the possibilities of shifting much of their data storage onto the public cloud but do not yet consider themselves ready to entirely give up the traditional corporate data center. Virtualization, previously used to great effect in the management of computing resources, will extend to the areas of networking and storage as well. Utility computing will be harnessed to address the complexities of the hybrid model for both infrastructure and applications.
2. Data Center Dynamics also highlighted 2014 predictions made by IDC and Cisco suggesting that the number of data centers would peak in 2017 before slowly declining due to changing trends in data storage. Instead of housing their data in on-site centers managed by internal IT staff, many companies instead favor so-called ‘mega’ data centers that are owned by large service providers and operate mainly on their infrastructure. Much of the data center workload will eventually be shifted to cloud data centers primarily due to increased efficiency.
3. The JLL 2017 Data Center Outlook report predicted that while major changes were coming, the data center industry would continue to thrive economically and expand in 2017 and beyond. The data center sector of the market will thrive for so long as companies handle large amounts of data and need to store it efficiently. Although there were significant merger & acquisition activities in 2017 that saw the consolidation of smaller data storage facilities into larger data centers owned by major service providers, this was a shift in structure and didn’t change the fundamental strength of the industry.
4. The predictions JLL had made regarding the data center market going into 2017 were borne out as shown in the Year End 2017 Global Data Center Outlook which also predicted future trends including the rise of smaller “edge” data center markets. As was mentioned previously, the new focus on data storage includes an interest in keeping data stored in locations closer to the locations at which it will actually be used. Satellite data center markets might therefore pop up on the edges of – or outside of – geographic areas considered typical locations for the technology industry, in order to be closer to the locations of the specific center’s major customers. This makes sense from the standpoint of efficient use of infrastructure, because data nearer its end location doesn’t need to travel as far in transit.
5. Energy accounts for a substantial portion of the budgets of data centers at up to 40% of total costs, according to statistics provided by network strategy and technology company Ciena. Data centers will attempt to increase their energy efficiency as a cost-saving measure. This also means that the industry would be particularly impacted by fluctuations in energy prices.
6. 2017 was a record year for data center investments in the U.S. at over $18 billion as of September according to recode.net and real estate research firm CBRE. Since that time, investment has only continued to increase. The data center market remains active and the industry will continue to be an important one throughout 2018 and beyond.