The modern data center is expected to undergo several changes as businesses look for ways to address a number of needs, including those pertaining to space, efficiency and security, and introduce new applications and services.
These findings were recently highlighted by a survey conducted by Campos Research & Analysis on behalf of Digital Realty Trust, which found that 98 percent of senior decision-makers plan to expand their companies’ data centers in 2013 or 2014. This figure is the highest percentage ever found by Digital Realty’s surveys.
Cloud computing is one of the main drivers behind this activity. The survey found that 61 percent of respondents said implementing private clouds is a key reason to expand their data centers moving forward. The cloud is not the only technology fueling data center demands, noted Michael Foust, CEO at Digital Realty.
“Data center demand is driven by the combination of a number of trends, including big data, cloud, virtualization, the need for greater energy efficiency and data center consolidation,” said Foust. “Data center executives face the need for cost optimization as well as the support of important existing and emerging business initiatives.”
Modern data centers more about size than quantity
The number of data centers at businesses is actually declining, according to an IDC report, but the sizes of these systems are growing. In 2012, the total number of U.S. data centers was approximately 2.9 million and, by 2016, this figure will decline slightly. However, the average size of data centers will expand from 611.4 million square feet to more than 700 million square feet during this time frame.
Rick Villars, vice president at IDC, said CIOs are being tasked with improving business agility while lowering spending for data center technologies. These executives must also address the potential of experiencing natural disasters, local system failures and other disruptions.
“To achieve both sets of objectives, IT decision makers had to rethink their approach to the data center,” Villars said.
The location of a firm’s data centers is another key consideration for corporate decision-makers. The Digital Realty survey found that two-thirds of respondents want their companies’ systems to be located in the same city they work in, with cities like New York, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay Area named as popular destinations.