LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio’s latest report on the data center construction market in the US provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
The top four emerging trends driving the data center construction market in the US according to Technavio ICT research analysts are:
- Green data centers
- Liquid immersion cooling solutions
- Infrastructure innovations
Green data centers
Power consumption among data centers in the US has increased considerably. Therefore, enterprises are seeking to build data centers that consume significantly less power with minimized environmental impact. This trend will gain traction in the near future.
“A green data center uses low-emission building materials, heat pumps, photovoltaics, and evaporative cooling, and creates a sustainable ecosystem through efficient waste recycling mechanisms. Capital investment in a green facility is high. However, considering the lower OPEX over a period, such services will gain wide acceptance among enterprises in the country, which bodes well for overall market growth,” says Rakesh Kumar Panda, a lead analyst at Technavio for data center.
In 2015, Google entered into a purchase agreement with Duke Energy for 61 MW of solar power to power its North Carolina data center. In addition, cloud and colocation providers like Amazon Web Services, Equinix, and Apple are also investing heavily in renewable energy sources to reduce data center OPEX and carbon emissions.
Liquid immersion cooling solutions
Liquid immersion cooling works on the principle of liquid submersion technology, wherein the servers and other IT equipment are placed inside tanks containing non-conductive coolants. Heat generated by the equipment is dissipated by the coolant and circulated throughout the system.
Liquid immersion cooling offers uniform and efficient cooling apart from high thermal efficiency in cooling high-density computing equipment. Traditional cooling technologies such as air-cooled systems are inefficient and consume a significant amount of energy. These solutions lack the capability of addressing heating problems at the IT equipment level.
Techniques such as cold plates and spot cooling are also inefficient and do not comply with the requirements of modern data centers. During the forecast period, it is expected that data centers in the US will adopt high-density computing infrastructure, paving the way for the adoption of liquid cooling systems in the near future. For example, in 2013, the CGG data center in Texas adopted liquid immersion cooling to submerge its 42 servers for cooling purposes.
Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) facilitates management of the cooling system of a data center through remote software via sensors attached to the cooling systems. “Vendors are focusing on DCIM systems to remotely monitor and manage temperature in data centers. DCIM also configures the system according to the external environment. Sensors fitted on to the cooling system enable the customization of cooling units. For instance, information regarding the return air temperature, the temperature of the entire facility, and active alarm signals can be obtained through sensors,” says Rakesh.
DCIM also monitors maintenance of data center equipment. Cloud-based DCIM will gain increased traction among data center operators in the US as it offers easier management compared to on-premise solutions. Currently, entire support infrastructure, with regard to power and cooling systems of data centers, can be purchased from a vendor, which aids efficient monitoring of data center operations through DCIM. Adoption of these advanced systems in data centers will boost market growth in the forecast period.
Data center vendors have witnessed several innovations over the past decade with regard to adoption of efficient infrastructure. In terms of IT equipment, blade servers are expected to be replaced by micro servers in the future, and traditional storage is likely to be replaced by flash storage with the installation of 100 Gb of Ethernet for networking purposes.
Data center operators are using cooling techniques, such as aisle containment, free cooling, and liquid immersion cooling, to reduce the amount of heat exhausted by IT equipment. Racks are being modified with improved flexibility for better cable management and in-rack cooling installations. In addition, vendors are constantly innovating multi-mode UPS systems, renewable energy sources, and rack embedded PDUs to improve the efficiency of data center facilities and offer higher availability at low latency.
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