Why the US Needs 4,000 New Data Centers by 2020

July 03, 2018

Each year, around 600 zettabytes of new data get created. This amounts to 200% more traffic than what current data centers can handle. This is what the speakers at Bisnow's Data Center Investment Conference & Expo South discussed.

Obviously, the data center industry needs to find a way to keep up with this volume of data. Keeping up with such a demand for data storage will translate to 4,000 new data centers by 2020. On average, this means 200,000 new SF 25-megawatt facilities by 2020.

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An Illustration of cloud computing 


Dave Crowley’s View

Dave Crowley, Microsoft’s Chief Technology Advisor, believes that the data center industry is at the beginning of the S growth curve. Crowley is responsible for monitoring dark fiber, subsea cable, 5G, internet, CDNs and data center relations.

While it is difficult to plan out what the data center industry will need a decade or so from now, it is important to approach the problem optimistically. Why? Because the data center industry has a $4 trillion market cap, it is a real business with real opportunities, unlike the internet bubble of 2000.

Jim Jindrick’s View

Jim Jindrick argues that visualizing five years to come is difficult. Jim is the director of corporate engagement at the University of Arizona’s Research Office. Jim adds that the data center industry will have to think of what else and how else to innovatively do things.

Wayne Sadin’s View

Even Wayne Sadin, CTO, and COO of Affinatas Life finds it hard to think about the future of data centers. To make the future easier to think about, he divides the world into the hyperscale cloud (consisting of Oracle, Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft) and everything else referred to as the cloud.

Hyperscale providers have changed how companies do business. Hyperscale customers innovate in ways that people stacking and racking equipment by themselves cannot. 

The AI Industry is Evolving

To illustrate how the data center industry has changed, Sadin relates his experience. Ten years ago, when Sadin was doing an AI project, he needed $250,000 worth of equipment, a $1 million contract with an AI company and six weeks to set everything up before doing a test case.

Just recently when Sadin wanted to do another AI project on Azure, things were much different. He just had to click a button that would have cost $4 but instead, Microsoft gave him 30 days free. 

The Future of IoT

Sadin points out that only 5% of the $3.7 trillion spent globally on IT goes to the cloud. Very soon, however, 95% will be spent on the cloud.

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Internet of things 

Connectivity, thanks to the cloud, will create massive changes in our lives and allow our imaginations run wild. David McCall, QTS Vice President, yearns for the day when his microwave and fridge will talk and share a list with his car of what to pick up on the way home.

Companies should Adopt IoT insights of Become Obsolete

According to Jim Fletcher, strategy partner at Momenta Partners and former IBM Watson CTO, the edge is a logical rather than a physical thing. Very soon, it may be 95% edge and 5% cloud. Fletcher also believes that the IoT will change business models and companies that don’t change will die.

Why is IoT so important? For one, it allows businesses to collect data at more points and at a greater frequency than ever before. AI then takes that data and turns it into actionable insight. Going forward, predictive analytics will help anticipate problems and take action ahead of time.



Image Description

Each year, around 600 zettabytes of new data get created. This amounts to 200% more traffic than what current data centers can handle. This is what the speakers at Bisnow's Data Center Investment Conference & Expo South discussed.