With a new year on the way, now is the time people typically start wondering what changes they'll see in particular industries. Here are five likely ways the data center market will get disrupted in the year ahead.
People frequently discuss how edge computing technology has substantially changed data center capabilities by processing information nearby instead of transferring the content to distant data centers first. Before long, edge data processing could happen in mobile setups on vehicles.
Experts at San Francisco's Edge AI Summit weighed in on this matter recently. For example, Uber uses telematics data to track potentially unsafe driving behaviors. Rahul Vijay, Uber's Head of Global Strategic Sourcing, was at the conference to give more details.
He revealed that the brand's self-driving cars are exceptionally data-dependent. Each one generates about four terabytes of data each day. Edge processing takes place on the automobiles, but the brand is also developing "storage depots" with FAT connections that handle the data streams from multiple vehicles.
Vijay said that equipment could fit into a vehicle such as a minivan and be deployed to areas where groups of autonomous cars traveling throughout an area might otherwise overwhelm the network.
It's easy to envision a future where events predicted to generate extraordinary amounts of data, such as the World Cup or Olympic Games, might depend on data centers on wheels to accommodate anticipated, larger-than-usual demands. Since Uber already has these plans underway enough to speak of them publicly, they may come to light in more detail during 2019.
Data center clients expect their providers to evolve, which usually means making periodic improvements in capabilities. Kevin Deierling, the Vice President of Marketing at Mellanox, thinks that in 2019, instead of data centers investing in faster computers, they'll make the necessary gains with clusters of hundreds or thousands of computers working simultaneously to boost performance.
Deirling also believes there will be a demand for more speed concerning storage, and he expects 25 Gigabit Ethernet to become the norm. As such, a shift from high-speed computing to high-speed networking will happen.
Data centers are instrumental in helping virtual reality (VR) gain traction, allowing consumers and entire industries to use it. One of the reasons data centers have spurred VR adoption is because VR experiences create five times more data than HDTV content, so data center reliability and scalability are essential. Moreover, data centers help ensure the low-latency conditions needed for optimal VR application functionality.
VR has become crucial to many industries. In health care, surgeons use it to plan operations, and it can help people recover from physical or mental trauma. It's even useful for pain management — one study found that burn patients experienced up to a 50 percent reduction in pain while playing a VR game.
Marketers often use VR to set customer expectations about products or let people get immersed in features. It's probable that the data center industry will offer VR tours of their premises in 2019, especially to people who cannot feasibly travel to the physical locations. Then, customers could feel more confident about choosing data centers after realizing that businesses meet their needs and that they saw evidence of it via the tours.
Not all disruptions to data centers are good ones, and a recent trend where cybercriminals target data centers through cryptojacking is one example. Cryptojacking involves using malicious code to mine cryptocurrency on an unsuspecting victim's computer. It often happens if a person clicks a link that triggers the code installation. The only outward sign is that the machine runs slower than usual.
Security experts warn that cryptojacking is an enticing crime for cybercriminals to commit because it makes money passively flow into their bank accounts. These experts point out that any device that can run processes could be a target for cryptojacking. If servers in a data center got infected, the results could be catastrophic.
Customers on pay-as-you-go cloud plans may notice strange usage spikes. Then, data center personnel could see that their electricity bills are higher than they should be for a given month. The increased usage cryptojacking causes on CPUs could bring about system crashes too.
Cybersecurity experts have uncovered several methods to apply cryptojacking to data centers. They include brute-force attacks and worms. Hackers typically prefer attacks that give them substantial payoffs. Cryptojacking will not be an entirely new threat to data centers in 2019, but it will pose a greater concern than in past years because of the damage cybercriminals could do.
In 2019, people should expect more instances of non-data-center brands tapping into the data center demand as an option for upping revenue. Casino, a struggling French supermarket brand, announced plans to install data centers in its properties and lease the space to grow profits. The first one will open in the first quarter of 2019, with 20 more expected after that.
Another instance involves New Jersey's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority partnering with Partner 8 Technologies to open a data center at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Those involved hope the destination will make Atlantic City a leader in the rampantly popular esports sector, bringing more revenue to the area. Partner 8 will make a private investment of more than $5 million into the data center, which could begin operating in early 2019.
These examples highlight how people outside of the data industry recognize the income-generating potential within it. They want to harness some for themselves, and they view 2019 as the year to do it.
This list gives an overview of developments data center professionals can expect in 2019, and there are undoubtedly others that are not yet apparent. Get ready for an exciting 12 months!
Kayla Matthews writes about data centers and big data for several industry publications, including The Data Center Journal, Data Center Frontier and insideBIGDATA. To read more posts from Kayla, you can follower her personal tech blog at ProductivityBytes.com.