With the IDC predicting the modernisation of data centres as one of the most important developments of 2018, the sector has been under the spotlight. With data centres no longer merely acting as a storage facility, we asked Ehab Kanary, Vice President of Enterprise, Middle East and Africa, for CommScope, what the future looks like for the sector.
How will the data centre sector cope in the future with an ever-increasing amount of data?
There are more than 7 billion people in the world. Each of those people, on average, has five connected devices. There are literally billions of machines around the world to keep those devices running. Quite frankly, those machines need to run 24/7 to keep up with demand.
There is no doubt that fibre optics are the future of network evolution. With data centre workloads expected to grow rapidly by next year, the time for IT managers to think about fibre is now.
Faster fibre deployments mean faster time to market, and the right fibre strategy can have a positive effect on both capital expenditure and operating expense. Building out a fibre infrastructure doesn’t have to mean layering on more complexity.
Done right, it can deliver the ultimate in simplicity – simplicity in management, planning and execution across the network.
What impact will the advent of 5G change to the way data centres operate?
All of the devices that need to communicate to each other and humans will drive a massive amount of fibre, especially as we look to 5G coming to market in the next five to 10 years. There is much to be done behind the scenes even before that happens. Wireless networks need a lot of ‘wired’ assets to effectively deliver fibre backhaul to the core and edge. Densification of cell sites (small cells, for example) is also required to enable 5G. Additionally, we’ll see several types of powering solutions come to the market, allowing operators to power up many devices at the edge of the network in a cost-efficient way.
How can the data centre sector prepare for the future in the face of constant change?
As the world embarks on a potential fourth Industrial Revolution, it is the 30 to 50 billion connected devices that will spur the unprecedented growth in bandwidth. The next few years are critical to building the networks that will meet the demand.
In anticipation of this need, CommScope, a leader in communications network infrastructure solutions, is introducing its high speed migration platform that assists data centre managers with building faster, more agile, high-density migration plans.
Deploying copious amounts of fibre is a best-case solution. But it’s not always feasible. The most efficient scenario is to deploy high density fibre from the get-go to allow machine-to-machine conversations to happen fast. A modular, high-speed platform that can support multiple generations of equipment is the best option.
How is the function of the data centre sector changing from mere storage?
Machines can process information nearly as fast as they receive it. Humans can’t. In the data centre, in particular, decisions are made instantaneously, and there needs to be a strong network backbone for support. It’s a change from data centres past that simply acted as storage for data. Now they are computing, analysing and processing information, and they need to do it in real time. IDC sees the ‘modernisation’ of data centres as one of its top predictions of 2018, making heavy use of predictive analytics to increase accuracy and reduce downtime.