It is hard to know exactly what will happen in the future. It is 2015 and we still have no hoverboards or self-drying jackets, and yes, it is a little bit disappointing. Nevertheless, people love making predictions about every existing field and the data center industry is not the exception.
Emerson Network Power surveyed 820 industry insiders to know how they think data centers will look in 10 years. The results were published in a report titled “Data Center 2025: Exploring the Possibilities”.
Here’s a recap of some of the most important and interesting expectations:
64% of the survey participants believe it will require less energy to produce the same level of data center computing performance existing today. 84% of the contestants believe data center infrastructure equipment will be more efficient and 67% thinks the same about IT equipment. Chip-level cooling, increasing use of outside air and streamlined power delivery are some of the methods industry insiders consider will enhance data center efficiency.
Participants were really optimistic about renewable electrical energy sources, especially about solar energy which they think it’s going to be responsible for 21% of data center power in 10 years. But the report points out that a solar panel array would have to be twice the size of the data center itself to supply just 20% of the power, considering the power generation capabilities of current solar panels.
67% of the survey participants consider at least 60% of computing will be cloud-based in the future, because most computing user interfaces will be spread among mobile devices.
But what does this mean to the data center industry? 10% of the contributors believe the enterprise data center will be ten times smaller compared with today’s facilities, which means it will be possible to locate data center in urban denser areas.
No human involved
43% of the industry insiders that participated in the survey expect that by 2025 data centers are automated enough to be unmanned. One the contestants said that all data center devices will have automatic identification tags and will work without human intervention or with minimum human involvement.
Mad Max-like data centers
According to one participant, just like in Mad Max, water will become a precious and expensive commodity and another ways to space cooling will be needed. He also showed the possibility that data centers would be moved off-shore, submerged in air-tight underwater structures and accessed by oil rig-like platforms.
Source: Data Center 2025: Exploring the Possibilities / Emerson Network Power