As the world moved online seemingly overnight in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the criticality of data centers and the unrelenting reliance on them across all walks of life became an enduring storyline of the crisis.
This reality will manifest in new ways in 2021 as the data center and the information ecosystem orbiting it emerge from the pandemic with a fourth utility criticality, complete with all the expectations and responsibilities that implies.
This is among the emerging 2021 data center trends identified by experts from Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions.
Data centers have long been held to high availability standards, but the shift toward utility-like status will be noticeable in two ways.
First, those high expectations for network availability will extend deep into rural and remote areas, bringing critical applications to more of the population.
This will increase pressure on data centers to maintain connectivity even at the outer edges of their networks.
Second, any distinction between availability and connectivity will be erased, as the ability to ensure and protect connections across increasingly distributed hybrid networks becomes as much of a requirement as any traditional measure of data center uptime.
“Data centers have been moving toward public utility-type status for some time, but the pandemic has crystalized the need to establish the kinds of official guardrails that have been commonplace across other utilities,” said Gary Niederpruem, chief strategy and development officer for Vertiv.
“This isn’t just about working from home, although that is part of it. More importantly, it is about supporting the digital economy in its most mission-critical forms, which include increased reliance on telemedicine and health, enhanced e-commerce, and global telecommunications and mass media.”
For more information on 2021 industry trends and the complete Vertiv portfolio of solutions for data center and communication networks, visit 2021 Data Center Trends.
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