According to intelligence and advisory firm Arizton, the global data center market will reach $174 billion by 2023, while it is projected that the data center market across Asia will eclipse that of the West in the next five years.
“Digitization and technological advances bring us hurtling toward a new, more integrated future, and the demand for data centers and the value for data continue to increase,” Tony Kang, Business VP, Secure Power Division at Schneider Electric Philippines. “However, with this spike in growth and development, there is also a surge in the demand for more valuable, more sustainable, efficient, adaptive, and resilient data center infrastructures. This is a concern that data center markets, especially developing markets like the Philippines, need to address.”
Not all data center owners will be equally equipped to handle the new levels of operational agility required. However, if risks and shortcomings within existing data center systems are recognized early enough, stakeholders will improve their chances to engineer a smooth transition to a more dynamic future.
Build your data center future around these four pillars
To accommodate these rising marketplace demands, data center owners will be required to step up performance in these four important areas:
Sustainability. The data center of the future will be expected to both integrate into and accommodate a company’s supply chain sustainability data. When selecting data center solution vendors, data center operators should heavily consider adherence to sustainable emissions control should factor in as an important evaluation criterion, on par with price and product quality. Working with established, environmentally aware data center infrastructure companies like Schneider Electric, can help jumpstart these efforts. Eco-friendly initiatives, such as Schneider Electric’s Green Premium program (which focuses on structured sustainable resource, reuse, and well-being KPIs) can serve as useful examples for guiding data center owners to further formalize sustainability efforts.
Efficiency. Data center efficiencies will soon have to go beyond just process and hardware performance efficiencies. By instrumenting devices with intelligent sensors, and by adding more digital services and remote monitoring capabilities, data centers will be able to drive more efficient human resources workflows which will result in far fewer instances of unanticipated downtime. The accelerated use of reference designs will also reduce much of the time engineers spend on data center upgrade design phases, are more precise and predictable, and will also limit material waste during construction. In addition, long-lasting, power-efficient, and space-saving technologies such as Lithium-ion batteries can be used during the deployment phases, lowering CAPEX and total cost of ownership (TCO) while shielding data center servers from unanticipated blackouts and brownouts.
Flexibility. As businesses across the globe scramble to increase flexibility while navigating unorthodox working conditions and unpredictable supply chains, a new mentality for remaining in business has emerged: Accelerate your ability to deliver goods and services with speed and precision. As customers adapt to these new marketplace realities, so must their data center facilities. Much more flexible data center designs will emerge that allow data center owners to pivot and quickly scale up or down as needed to handle the uncertain future.
Resilience. By bringing in processes, programs, tools, and resources that both enable minimum exposure to hazards and associated risks (like unanticipated blackouts) and rapid reaction and recovery from unplanned events, data center owners will be in a much stronger position to control outcomes during times of crisis and uncertainty. At present, powerful AI-based monitoring tools offer new ways to remotely manage at-risk data center assets such as Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxureTM IT. AI algorithms identify the critical patterns of equipment behavior, predict issues, and advise operators on which actions to take before a problem turns into unanticipated downtime, and generate output reports for stakeholders. In turn, these factors can greatly increase the resilience of the data center.
Benefit from an updated cybersecurity envelope
A built-in safety net of advanced cybersecurity will be required across each of these four data center-of-the-future pillars. New cybersecurity frameworks will evolve that will enable migration to a more holistic security environment and that will account for both new technologies coming in and for legacy technologies that require a strengthening of their cybersecurity levels.
“Schneider Electric has taken lessons learned from its own digital journey to develop a Cybersecurity by Design strategy and technology development framework, which serves as a foundation for helping data centers modernize their cybersecurity strategies,” Kang said.
By executing the twofold goal of producing cybersecure products and of offering cybersecurity services that are applicable to data centers, Schneider Electric has established itself as a cybersecurity leader in the realm of data center power and cooling infrastructure. The goal is to assure that future data centers remain constantly available, and that ongoing collaborative cybersecurity development efforts will result in even stronger attack detection, better process, and forensic analysis, and more robust cyberattack response solutions.
Push for a more sustainable and integrated data center market in the Philippines
The global pandemic has accelerated the growth of emerging data center markets, with the Philippines as one of the fastest-growing in Asia.
“As the data center industry continues its rapid growth and as the demand for a more sustainable, efficient, and integrated digital future increases, more global technology companies looking to build digital facilities to meet regional demand amid challenges. This is where the Philippines, as an emerging data center market, needs to step up and rise to the occasion,” Kang said.