Cloud and green concerns will shrink datacentres

Smarter design will also free up space in server rooms...

Smarter design will also free up space in server rooms...

Cloud computing and green concerns will contribute to a reduction in the size of datacentres over the next few years, potentially leaving businesses with redundant floor space.

According to a report from analyst house Gartner, the average datacentre of 2018 will take up just 40 per cent of the space used by current facilities, as cloud computing, environmental concerns and better distribution of computing hardware take their toll.

Greater adoption of cloud computing - specifically public cloud - will shift workloads to third-party providers.

Datacentres are likely to become smaller in the future

Datacentres are likely to become a lot smaller in the future as cloud computing and better design have an impactPhoto: Tim Ferguson/

Hardware previously needed to support these services will therefore become redundant and can be removed from corporate datacentres, freeing up space and reducing cooling and power requirements.

It's likely that most non-essential processes - that don't differentiate businesses from their competitors - will be carried out in cloud datacentres in the near future, according to the report.

Businesses are also looking at how they can use server racks more effectively. Gartner estimates that the average utilisation of server racks is currently 60 per cent but predicts that utilisation will change because newer datacentres have rack densities of 85 per cent or higher, vastly increasing the compute-to-floor-space ratio.

The greater adoption of private-cloud technology will also allow for better server density as the pooling of compute resources will reduce the need to separate servers with different functions.

Increased focus on cutting power usage and emissions will also be a factor in cutting the size of datacentres as virtualisation and more energy-efficient layouts are employed.

Energy efficiency is a now a major consideration in the design and building of new datacentres with power-utilisation efficiency figures increasingly used as a benchmark for new datacentres.


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