Hyperscale data centers are the backbone of the cloud computing phenomenon. According to a report from Synergy Research, there were 300 hyperscale data centers located around the world in 2016, with this number expected to rise to 400 by the end of 2018.
Hyperscale Data Centers Have Many Companies Thinking Big
Building a hyperscale data center is a resource-intensive endeavor. For now, mostly large companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Baidu or Oracle can afford such a grand undertaking, but this may very well change down the line.
With the advancement of certain technologies, there will be a proliferation of hyperscale data centers that can disrupt the current model. It is important to understand the key motivations, the necessary practices and the crucial technologies that can lead to this disruption.
Motivation for Hyperscale Data Centers
The rapid growth of technology has been a constant phenomenon in our modern lives. It doesn’t seem like it is slowing down anytime soon. As a result, hyperscale data centers are becoming more prevalent. This growth is driven by two main factors:
Changing Nature of Digital Services
Data centers and IT were playing a supporting role in an enterprise environment. With financial transactions moving to digital platforms, data centers and IT services have become part of the core business for most enterprises. It means that companies need more control over their infrastructure. Hyperscale data centers seem like a decent solution.
Increasing Digital Usage
Decreasing computing cost is spurring application innovations. Technologies like virtual reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT), natural language processing, machine learning and automation will need more computing and storage power. The changes are inspiring more businesses to look into the possibility of owning their own hyperscale data centers to support the increased demands.
Future Practices for Hyperscale Data Centers
Organizations can learn from the current hyperscale data center practices. These best practices will help them build better facilities:
• Agile Design: Hyperscale data center owners rely on software-centric networking to implement fast solutions. In the traditional data center model, purchasing, installing and loading application can take days. Hyperscale data center owners depend on automation software to get the same tasks done in hours or even minutes.
• Monitoring Metrics: Hyperscale implementation requires robust metrics and analytics. Data center managers should be able to monitor problems in real-time and solve issues fast to get a positive return on investment.
• Resource Optimization: In the current model, a larger data center requires more staff for support. It is not possible to scale effectively relying on this practice. It’s important to understand the role of automation in a hyperscale scenario.
• Specialized Hardware and Software: Data center managers need to look into highly-specialized hardware and software that can handle the scale. There is a proliferation of tools in cloud computing, orchestration, deployment, and monitoring that can support hyperscale data centers.
Technologies for Hyperscale Data Centers
New and previously underused technologies can help with these data centers.
• Custom processors: Currently, data centers try to keep their processors consistent across the board. With more specialized computing coming in the future, it might be necessary to use more optimized processors in different parts of the data center. In some cases, custom ASICs and FPGAs can provide better performance.
• New Storage and Memory: Storage and memory technology is improving. Current non-persistent memory and persistent storage might merge together. It can change application architectures significantly. Developers wouldn’t be restricted by current limitations of memory and storage.
• New Rack Scale Design: New rack design is coming to the market that allows desegregated architecture. This new design can provide instant virtualization for hyperscale implementation.
Rapid changes are nothing new in the world of computing. We have seen mainframes, client-server architectures, distributed designs and cloud computing. It will keep evolving. Hyperscale data centers seem like the next evolution. Even though it might not be financially viable for most companies today, the future can be a different story.
Even if you’re not quite ready to jump into the world of hyperscale data centers, Instor can help. From data center design to implementation and build-out, look to Instor for all your data center infrastructure needs.