Over the past few years, a major trend has been emerging among pretty much every industry out there. I’m sure you’ve heard of the ‘digital revolution.’ However, at the heart of this movement is data. In fact, we are actively in the midst of another ‘industrial revolution’ as we enter the age of the data-driven economy.

Today, we’re all walking, talking, data-generating engines. Cisco recently reported that, driven by the Internet of Things, the total amount of data created (and not necessarily stored) by any device will reach 847 ZB per year by 2021. As they point out, data created is two orders of magnitude higher than data stored.

But think about what that’s done to services, our data centers, and the technologies we’ve been using. All of this is changing the way we leverage core resources and delivery new types of services to the market. According to IDC, by 2025 the global datasphere will grow to 163 zettabytes (that is a trillion gigabytes). That’s also ten times the 16.1ZB of data generated in 2016. Here’s the other reality with everything technology-related we do on a daily basis. By 2025, an average connected person anywhere in the world will interact with connected devices nearly 4,800 times per day — basically one interaction every 18 seconds.

Here’s the other major point to remember… the data center has absolutely taken notice around this. Over the past few years, I’ve had the honor (and pleasure) of co-authoring and helping design the AFCOM State of the Data Center report. In fact, a new report will be coming out and showcased at this year’s AFCOM Data Center World in 2019.

In that study, we asked what data center leaders were doing when it came to leveraging new and innovative solutions. Remember, these solutions are aimed at improving data center efficiency while still delivering new capabilities to the customer. We found four solutions are leading the charge with Data Analytics and Big Data as the top two. In fact, 52% of respondents indicated that they’re already leveraging data analytics and another 42% said they’re already using big data.

These cs. Based on the current state of AI applications development, it is not out of the question to expect “productized” applications within the next 3-5 years with a focus on the areas of:

  • Energy usage and efficiency
  • Cooling
  • Server optimization
  • Autonomous self-optimization

This means that data-driven solution will help with capacity, understanding efficiency, working with more customers, and helping data centers adapt to a growing digital market. This also means leveraging data center partners which can help you expand your own data-oriented initiatives. Consider this:

  • Expansion in the cloud. Outside of just working with really cool data center data-driven services, you might have your own data initiatives. And, as much as your data center is amazing, working with the cloud can help even more. That said, when designing a solution that might be data-intensive, look to the cloud for help. However, you can’t get there if your data center partner doesn’t offer good connectivity options. In some cases, you’ll need to extend your solution to AWS, Azure, or GCP. With that in mind, how easy is it to do this now? Is scaling a challenge or can you easily connect into the cloud? The big point here is to work with a partner which can accommodate all your hybrid cloud connectivity needs.
  • Customized gear to process advanced workloads. When working with advanced data solutions, you’ll need to take resources and design into consideration. Things like cognitive systems will vary in what they’ll need to run efficiently. For example, if you’re running a data analytics job on Hadoop, this may be CPU, memory, or even I/O intensive. Similarly, if you’re running a machine learning engine for the purposes of NLP, you could very well require quite a few CPU cycles. Depending on your use-case, you might actually need a customized solution to support your deployment. Work with a partner that can actually deliver on that. 60 Amp 208V 3-Phase? Slab-to-Slab caging? Check. Liquid-cooled rear-door heat exchangers for advanced HPC solutions? A good partner can give you a lot of options around customization.

Our world is fueled by the data we’re all generating. We rely on information every day of our lives. And, business rely on data to make better decisions around their strategy and competitive stance. The point is that there’s really no escaping a data-driven future. It’s important to embrace this trend and work with partners that will help you leverage your own data systems much more effectively. Whether this is on-premise or by offering a gateway to the cloud!