3 industries that must prepare for IoT’s disruption in the data center…
In many ways, early IT infrastructure management solutions served as the forebearers of the Internet of Things movement. These technologies were built around using data center networks, monitoring devices and reporting data from servers and similar hardware to identify key performance metrics in data centers. From there, managers could make more intelligent decisions about how to configure the facility setup, optimize workloads or prioritize maintenance tasks to keep the data center running smoothly.
With such a solid foundation for data intelligence through connected devices already in place, it shouldn’t be surprising that the data center sector has emerged as one of the hottest areas for IoT innovation.
A study from 451 Research found that 65 percent of businesses are already collecting data from connected endpoints. Within that group, approximately 51 percent of organizations are using data center equipment as a source for IoT data, making it the most common source of information. Cameras and surveillance equipment came in second at 34 percent, with data center facilities equipment rounding at the top three, as it used as an IoT data source by 33 percent of the organizations that were polled.
This data highlights just how important the data center has become a hotbed for IoT innovation, and the rapid rise of connected technologies is already beginning to change the data center sector. As organizations revisit their data center management strategies considering the IoT, organizations in related sectors must prepare for the disruption.
Three industries most likely to experience new opportunities due to IoT advances in data centers are:
The telecommunications sector and data centers have long been carefully linked. Many data center operators purposely located facilities near to regional telecom hubs and pretty much every data center depends heavily on robust connectivity. However, a Data Center Frontier report pointed out that the rise of the IoT is pushing more organizations to deploy dense micro-data centers in remote locations where the facilities can meet specific operational demands. Moving data centers away from central network hubs to edge locations could create opportunities for telecoms that want to capitalize on new connectivity demands rising in the IoT’s wake. It’s also worth keeping an eye on networking technology leaders, such as Cisco, that have been developing IoT-focused network solutions that could prove extremely attractive within micro-data center environments.
Micro-data centers need network resources, but they also need power. Moving data centers to unconventional locations may put more facilities in relatively underserved parts of the utility grid. With frequency regulation and load balancing already proving challenging for utility operators, power companies hoping to capitalize on new data center opportunities may need to invest in smart grid technologies and energy storage to accommodate businesses using the IoT to foster expansion into new locations or solidify services in existing markets.
3. Design and construction
Some micro-data centers may be high-density server environments in office closets. Those seemingly mundane configurations are met by experiments in underwater data centers from Microsoft and floating data facilities led by Google. These types of projects highlight how heavily connected data centers that can be managed remotely give organizations opportunities to get creative with where they locate their facilities. Design and construction organizations may want to delve into how they can incorporate IoT elements naturally into facilities to gain an edge as they work to compete for opportunities to support businesses rolling out new micro-data centers.
Looking within data centers themselves
IoT use in data centers is disrupting the aforementioned sectors, but that doesn’t mean that the technology has reached a saturation point in data facilities. Plenty of innovation is still on the way. Keep an eye on leading brands such as Schneider Electric, IBM and other data center infrastructure management leaders as they implement more IoT functionality within their platforms. The data center sector is hosting some of the most mature IoT deployments out there. As such, it has already begun to revolve around the technological trend and demand responses from supporting industries.