2022 Informed: Data centre, Cloud and Edge predictions
Data centres play a key role in any enterprise’s IT strategy. But with more people working from home, cloud adoption is growing, while edge computing is also playing a growing role in IT architecture. We look at some key predictions from experts in the industry across cloud, DC and edge for 2022.
1: Data centres will continue to see growth, but face challenges over land acquisition and power supply
The data centre industry is not alone in its determination to adjust, adapt and thrive following the challenges posed by the pandemic, the energy crisis and the digital skills gap.
The latest DC Byte research revealed that not only is the data centre market showing signs of continued core expansion but there is also strong growth in new markets outside of Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin.
The pandemic has heightened demand across the data centre industry, accelerating buying cycles that were already on an upward trajectory, and increased awareness amongst the investor community of the profitability of technical real estate versus more traditional assets.
Competition to source and acquire land for data centre development will continue to be fierce next year, as efforts to deliver on existing commitments and to meet demand for increased supply continue.
The challenge will not only be identifying new sites at a time when both land prices are rising due to the scarcity of supply and most importantly the significant lack of power availability in established metros.
Will King, managing director, DC Byte
2: On-premises data centres here to stay as corporations refine their hybrid approaches
Even as public cloud investment continues, enterprises will maintain their corporate on-premises data centre infrastructure for reasons of control, performance and cost-efficiency. This will lead to a new level of sophisticated IT management capabilities to optimise multi-data centre, multi-cloud application and data management solutions. Most enterprises today have realised that a smart, balanced approach to applications and infrastructure across enterprise (private) data centres and public cloud services leads to the most optimal delivery of services, agility, best time-to-market, and cost efficiencies.
Paul Speciale, chief marketing officer at Scality
3: Cloud migration will help eliminate waste
“I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is”, said Greta Thunberg, and it appears that as we are approaching 2022, the urgent need to take action is finally sinking. With climate awareness growing around the world, more and more companies are making ecological footprint a top consideration for their IT strategy. In the upcoming year, I predict that the vast majority of IT teams will be implementing sustainability programs for reducing energy consumption, decreasing electronic waste and achieving carbon neutrality.
One of the best ways to achieve these goals is migrating to the cloud. First and foremost, by pooling resources, the cloud reduces waste. Corporate data centres are built with a lot of spare capacity to allow for future growth and to serve peak demands. By contrast, the cloud consolidates machine use, operating servers and storage at high utilisation rates.
Aron Brand, CTO at CTERA
4: Companies will continue to adopt cloud to drive innovation
Companies will continue the trend of pursuing a cloud-first architecture. Meaning the cloud is the first option reviewed for new workloads and when looking at migrating workloads in favour of traditional 3-5 year IT hardware refreshes. Hybrid infrastructure considerations will continue to be popular going into 2022. Cost versus benefit analysis will be important to make sure all workloads reside in the most beneficial location.
Ken Barth, CEO of Catalogic Software
Innovative organisations know that, without widespread cloud adoption, none of their key innovations will be realised. 2022 will see the continuing march towards cloud ubiquity enabling smarter, more powerfully personalised customer experiences. The benefits of cloud adoption are myriad: flexibility, reliability, agility. Testament to that, around 75% of organisations are now taking a cloud-based approach to customer experience.
“Both smaller organisations and large enterprises are moving to cloud models to take advantage of the latest technologies powering application development, such as Kubernetes and Docket Containers. When it comes to novel adoption of AI, of NLP and IVAs, cloud is the enabler. It allows organisations to take advantage of third-party innovation, layering of APIs, and access to capabilities way beyond the capabilities of on-premises. In the next 12 months there is no question that the cloud will dominate customer experience conversations, and those that are still wavering are set to get left behind.”
Brian Atkinson, vice president and general manager EMEA, Five9
5: Hybrid work calls for hybrid cloud adoption
With companies committing to hybrid work environments, leaders have to rethink priorities and consider balancing between scale, speed, privacy and security. Businesses and customers need more flexibility than legacy data centre environments or pure public cloud solutions can offer. That is why many companies are considering significant new investments in a hybrid cloud option. In 2022, we will see more acceleration adoption of hybrid cloud as it delivers excellent agility to grow and support remote employees, enabling companies to pivot as business demands evolve and change in an uncertain world.
Jamshid Rezaei, CIO, Mitel
6: A more dispersed future will be made possible by ‘Edge 2.0’
We expect to see computing become more dispersed in 2022, enabled by the next generation of edge computing. Whether it’s mobile apps to factory floor sensors, there’s an ongoing trend to inject as much computing power as possible into tiny devices enabling them to collect data and decision make all on their own. Already, we’re seeing this made possible within the field of IoT, but “Edge 2.0” will propel this evolution further forward.
Currently, the edge requires a device to connect with a central server. Although a remote monitoring system for instance might be able to collate information on its own, it’s the cloud or central service that’s doing all the work. With Edge 2.0, we expect it’ll become possible for devices to work without a central server, thanks to a dispersed network of devices and decentralised cloud infrastructure. The link will be severed entirely. This network will see devices communicating with each other to enable them to work fully offline. And when they inevitably need to reach the cloud, more dispersed cloud infrastructures will see less resources used, driving increased value.
Within sectors such as mining, maritime or airlines, where connectivity is never guaranteed, this approach is already in full swing. But we think it’s likely we’ll see a proliferation of Edge networks across industries, as businesses seek ways of reducing costs and speeding up decision-making, regardless of connections to the cloud.
Ravi Mayuram, senior vice president, Products and Engineering, Couchbase
Subscribe to our Editor's weekly newsletter