2020 Predictions: What's Next for Colocation

Automation, 5G, and continued growth of the edge set to make 2020 a year to remember

Across the board, 2019 was a banner year for the data center industry. With larger capital investments and incredible advancements in application software, the industry exceeded expectations and saw an unmatched level of growth.

It’s no surprise that as more and more devices are connected and brought online, the amount of daily data creation has skyrocketed and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, almost 44 ZB of data is expected to be generated in 2020 alone, before increasing to 463 EB by 2025. While the debut of 5G technology didn’t necessarily impact 2019 as planned, we can expect its full arrival in 2020, bringing an industry-wide shakedown with it. 

As the number of connected users and devices continues to grow, here’s our list of the top 2020 predictions for colocation facilities. 

Increase in Colocation Demand from Enterprise-Level Organizations

As networks and technologies demand top-notch connectivity and ultra-low latency, enterprises are expected to shift further towards colocation services due to their inability to meet data demands internally. While this trend isn’t novel, we expect this shift to significantly ramp up as data creation and storage needs reach exponential levels.     

Immersion Cooling Adoption will Continue to Grow 

Also ramping up in 2020: efficient cooling strategies, with immersion cooling leading the charge. More data means larger traditional workloads, and larger workloads require higher densities. As a result, the data center industry’s energy consumption has done nothing but grow, underscoring the need for efficient cooling. While some data center owners and operators have already implemented immersion cooling, adoption will continue to grow as energy consumption nears 73 billion kWh within the year. 

Facilities Will See a Larger Presence of Multi-Cloud Deployments 

In the first six months of 2019, cloud services grew 44% above previous years’ spending. As we move closer to 2020,experts are saying that the market for both private and public cloud services and infrastructure deployments will double by 2025. Not only will demand increase as organizations crave the flexibility offered from hybrid infrastructures, but data center facilities will also have to shift service offerings to meet this demand, establishing themselves as key market players. AWS, for example, announced at ReInvent:2019 that they will begin deploying AWS Local Zones to handle more localized, latency-sensitive compute driven by gamines, media, reservoir simulations, and machine learning. 

Edge Computing Will Increase in Operations

Piggy-backing off of the increased amount of cloud-native deployments, data center facilities will continue to pull operations closer towards the edge. In fact, according to Gartner research, the number of edge data center facilities is likely to quadruple in the next five years as a result of technological innovation. Driven by IoT applications—largely 5G network-based—edge computing is growing in lockstep with the need for on-demand data engagements.  

Part of the challenge associated with edge computing is prioritizing exactly what data needs to be stored in these extremely low-latency environments. IDC reports that just 10% of corporate data is “hot,” or used repeatedly and frequently, and up to 60% is rarely if ever accessed. As data sprawl begins to reach a tipping point, organizations will have to make more strategic decisions about what data is kept and where. 

Customer Demands Keep Hybrid Colocation-Cloud Infrastructure the Preferred Setup

Whether you’re dealing with healthcare, retail, energy or other organizations, customers across the board demand real-time access to their data. And it’s not just access that’s in demand. Considering the financial impact a single minute of downtime can have on a business, customers require their information to be securely stored and monitored day-in and day-out. As market demands and security expectations continue to evolve and adapt, organizations realize that housing data in-house is an extremely time and resource-intensive solution that’s simply too complex an option. Because of this, colocation will remain a top service offering among data center facilities.  

IT Workloads Shift in Response to Automation

Perhaps contrary to popular belief, data center automation won’t be the death of IT departments. In fact, the continuous evolution of data infrastructures means IT teams will be dealing with a whole new set of challenges. Some of these challenges are just continuations of what organizations have been dealing with for years, like handling and directing growing influxes of data. Others have to do with increased expectations on the consumer side, like the demand for near-instant IT support that reflects instantaneous experiences elsewhere. In general, IT teams can expect their workloads to shift into new territories throughout 2020.

Carried by IoT, innovative devices and cloud-native applications, the explosion of data expected in 2020 will present many unique opportunities in terms of operational growth and sustainability. At Skybox, we take pride in offering ultra-low latency connectivity and flexible colocation services. As we enter 2020, we’re dedicated to meeting the demands of all our customers, big and small! Interested in learning more about our services? Contact us today.