Increased Data Loads are Driving a Surge in Data Center Densities
For both consumer and business users, the uber-connected lifestyle is here, and the growth in the use of devices and subsequent data demands are staggering. In the U.S. alone, the number of devices and connections is expected to grow from 7.3 per person in 2015 to over 12 per person in 2020. According to Cisco’s VNI, video data loads continue to increase, with business Internet video reaching 4.8 exabytes by 2020, and consumer video 29.1 exabytes by the same year. This will have a huge impact on the data centers as more than 83 percent of all data center traffic will be in the cloud by 2019.
A decade ago, most racks in a data center supported less than 5kW of power, which limited the number of microservers you could put in each rack. Most racks now support between 5-10kW of power, and this is rapidly changing, with high-density racks that support more than 10kW now coming to the forefront. This increase of power means that high-density racks can now support nearly 3 times the number of servers in the same footprint as before. Aligned provides a dynamic data center, enabling both increased demand and delivering high, variable and mixed densities, depending on the needs of clients.
Why Densities are Increasing in Data Centers
In the past 5 years alone, the amount of compute load an individual server handles has increased exponentially. This largely can be attributed to increased data load demands because of IoT (Internet of Things) and increased connectedness for mobile and home or business devices. The advent of 4K, and soon, 8K video is also responsible for these increased computing loads.
Advances in chipset technologies for both CPUs and GPUs are pushing compute densities upwards. The abilities of these modern chipsets to more rapidly process data means that there is a greater requirement for networks to transmit more data more quickly, which in turn demands more from data centers. Modern IT server architectures such as 5U, hyper-converged infrastructure, rack scale designs and multiple other forms of high-performance computing are also rapidly becoming mainstream, all of which are pusing data centers to increase computing density.
Higher Density Means You Can Solve Bigger Problems, Faster
Although higher densities may sound like a simple challenge of scale alone, there are many business and societal benefits to this upward surge of density. For data centers, preparing for this increase in density demands means that they become full partners with these positive changes.
- Saving Money for the Oil and Gas Industry
One potential business application for the high-power computing (HPC) allowed by higher density involves the oil and gas industry. For example, high-end techniques such as 3D visualization, seismic modeling, and predictive analytics are all optimized by the increase of density in data centers. Today, 65% of oil is unharvested and too expensive to get to using current methods. However, if cutting edge techniques made possible by high-power computing can increase oil recovery by even 1% more, that means global supply would increase by 80 billion barrels, or 3 years’ global supply.
- Saving Lives Through Genome Sequencing
Faster genomic sequencing in biotech is another benefit of the high-power computing made possible by higher density. HPC has driven huge reductions in the time it takes to sequence a genome, and as a result, previously incurable cancers are now curable as patients get the right treatment more quickly. 20 years ago, the pediatric cancers neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma were almost always fatal; today 60% of kids with those diseases almost always go into remission, thanks to advanced treatments made possible by HPC and genome sequencing.
- Connecting the Remotest Areas of the Planet
Technology is also working for social good and social connections. Tech giants are leveraging AI and machine learning to connect the nearly 5 billion people who don’t yet have Internet access. One of these companies uses AI to map the populated yet remote areas of the world so its Internet drones can deliver connectivity there–and with it, education, healthcare and previously unimaginable opportunities.
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