Increased reliance on the edge, importance of colocation providers driving developments

January 02, 2018

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The next-generation data center will exist beyond walls, seamlessly integrating core facilities with a more intelligent, mission-critical edge of network. These Gen 4 data centers are emerging and will become the model for IT networks of the 2020s. The advent of this edge-dependent data center is one of five 2018 data center trends identified by a global panel of experts from Vertiv, formerly Emerson Network Power.

“The evolution of the edge, driven in large part by the adoption of the Internet of Things, is impacting the data center industry in much the same way the introduction of the cloud did,” said Rob Johnson, CEO, Vertiv. “As we saw then, the implications of such a fundamental change are far-reaching and in some cases unpredictable. The only certainty is that expectations remain the same – seamless, immediate, uninterrupted service.”

Previous Vertiv forecasts identified trends tied to the cloud, integrated systems, infrastructure security and more.

Trend #1:

Emergence of the Gen 4 Data Center: Whether traditional IT closets or 1,500 square-foot micro-data centers, organizations increasingly are relying on the edge. The Gen 4 data center holistically and harmoniously integrates edge and core, elevating these new architectures beyond simple distributed networks.

This is happening with innovative architectures delivering near real-time capacity in scalable, economical modules that leverage optimized thermal solutions, high-density power supplies, lithium-ion batteries, and advanced power distribution units. Advanced monitoring and management technologies pull it all together, allowing hundreds or even thousands of distributed IT nodes to operate in concert to reduce latency and up-front costs, increase utilization rates, remove complexity, and allow organizations to add network-connected IT capacity when and where they need it.