Author: Mel Melara

Data center technology was hot in 2022, but it wasn’t without its challenges. Looking ahead to the coming year, you may be wondering what data center trends to watch for so you can plan accordingly.

In 2022, we saw a number of factors at play that will shape what to expect for the coming year. One of the biggest factors is that over the past year, hyperscalers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure bought up most of the colocation inventory on the market.  

Hyperscalers are large cloud providers who provide agile computing that’s capable of accommodating fluctuating demand.  As hyperscalers have bought up most of the inventory, it left little supply in key markets, making data centers a seller’s market.

Despite the hot market for data centers, 2022 also had some key challenges.  

Supply chain disruptions continued in 2022 and shaped many data center trends. These disruptions affected customers who needed to expand their data center footprints or deploy applications.  

Without reliable access to new hardware, many customers started to look at IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and hyperscalers which only exacerbated the inventory problem.

Additionally, the high demand for energy was a  challenge. For example, energy costs in Europe rose by eight times the 10-year average, and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) is projected to be on the verge of demand destruction.  

Meta abandoned plans to build a data center in the Netherlands that utilizes wind energy amidst protests from local communities that feared they wouldn’t get their share of energy.  

Plus, rising temperatures in Europe proved to be a challenge for data centers as high temperatures challenged cooling systems and in some cases brought on outages.  

With the changing climate and increased government oversight on energy usage, new data center trends must contend with energy as a scarce resource.  

With that in mind, here are our top three data center trends for 2023.
 

Trend #1: Cloud Isn’t Everything  

For years now, the public cloud has been offered up as a solution for dealing with storage, scalability and performance problems. Now, mid-sized companies are starting to reassess whether the high costs of public cloud are worth it.  

The public cloud is controlled mostly by AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle and IBM. These companies offer public cloud solutions that promise to manage all IT resources for less than it would take to maintain a private cloud or on-premise servers. Another lure of the public cloud is that it’s meant to reduce complexity in data performance and offer flexibility to adapt to unknown and changing storage needs.  

Public cloud is great for startups who don’t yet know what their storage needs will be and require a solution that can scale quickly.  

Lately, however, many mid-sized companies are taking stock of their IT needs and realizing that they are paying a premium for public cloud features that they don’t need.  

David Heinemeier Hansson, CTO of Basecamp and Hey wrote an article titled “Why we’re leaving the cloud.” He argued that for medium-sized companies like his, renting computers and storage space is a bad deal. He divulges that the company pays over half a million dollars a year to Amazon for public cloud solutions. With AWS claiming 30% profit, the company has determined that it’s more cost-effective to build its own servers.  

As for the promise that public cloud platforms reduce complexity, Hansson states that the claim of simplicity never came to fruition.  

The shift of more traditional static workloads away from the public cloud is one of the more significant data center trends of 2023.  

Trend #2: Back to Bare Metal  

If customers are moving away from the public cloud, what are the alternatives? One of the more surprising data center trends on the horizon is the return to bare metal data centers.

The Global Bare Metal Cloud Service Market Outlook report has forecasted that the global bare metal cloud service market will grow 31.8% CAGR between 2023 and 2028.

This growth is being driven by demands for higher performance as the server is dedicated to a single user. Fluctuations in usage and available storage can all affect the performance of cloud platforms, but because bare metal servers are only assigned to one user, they are highly reliable.  

 

Trend #3: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)  

As with previous years, customers in 2023 will continue to seek ways to outsource their infrastructure needs.

For 2023, expect IaaS to increase in popularity. A November 2022 report from Gartner forecasted that IaaS will grow by 29.8% in 2023, making it the “highest end-user spending growth.”

These managed data center services can help you build a data center that makes sense for your business, in addition to augmenting IT staffing and covering security and compliance, something more complex to handle in the public clouds.

Unlike previous years, when customers outsourced to public cloud platforms, 2023 will see customers outsource building customized infrastructure.

Considering data center infrastructure is now critical to driving application performance for most businesses. As attitudes towards data and technology evolve, we predict that these key data center trends of 2023 will shape the future of data centers.

Bridgepointe’s data center experts can work with you to find the right data center solutions to provide flexibility and reduce costs