Data Centers to Grapple with Sustainability Efforts in 2023, According to IT Experts

Data centers are only gaining more prominence in importance as our lives continue becoming more and more digital. Last year saw many enterprises dealing with how to climate proof IT operations from disaster. This year looks to be the same. Here, experts in the IT space offer their predictions for the data center in 2023.

  • Data center buildouts will ramp up significantly as demand for digitization increases alongside 5g deployment: In 2023, the ubiquity of 5G will drive a tremendous amount of traffic into the core center and cloud. Data center construction will ramp up significantly, and power demand will spike in response to ongoing digitization priorities. U.S.-based original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and data center designers are considering lowering reliance on other countries for materials and labor, as national security and economic concerns remain at the forefront for US enterprises.—ABB Power Conversion’s data center segment leader Vito Savino 
  • DC power architecture will move into more data centers: Data center computing capacity needs continue to increase to support modern applications and propel the next wave of innovation. Supporting this exponential growth will require higher-power facilities and equipment, which means data center designers and operators will need to rethink their power architectures. As such, they will continue to explore highly scalable, decentralized DC power architecture to address growing density, efficiency, and computing demands.—ABB Power Conversion’s data center segment leader Vito Savino
  • Data processing emissions—an elephant in the sustainability room: We often forget that data transmission and crunching require a lot of energy. In 2021 it was around 600TWh of power and it excludes “the crypto. Companies and individuals will seek for ways to decrease their emission footprint. One mitigation path is switching to renewable energy—many datacenters are already pretty advanced in doing so. What we can also expect is that there will be more and more emphasis on the energy efficiency of the software (code) and not just the infrastructure that runs that code. Because of the hiking prices or energy and cloud infrastructure, we can expect demand for more efficient software and the efficiency will likely become a competitive advantage. One of the most energy intensive jobs is the training of ML models. We can expect innovative ideas to optimize the energy footprint of AI technology application.—Leszek Tasiemski, head of products, WithSecure
  • Cloud automation will become a key enterprise requirement to keep pace with rapid cloud migration: According to Gartner, 40% of all enterprise workloads will be deployed in cloud infrastructure and platform-driven services by 2023. Clearly, cloud adoption continues to be a top priority for enterprises looking to uplevel their infrastructure. However, moving to the cloud is never simple. Each public cloud has its own set of provisioning requirements and supporting services, and those are typically different from the provisioning requirements and services available within private data centers. There are complex and time-consuming steps that must be taken before an application can move from being code-complete to cloud-deployed, which includes not just the provisioning and upkeep of environments within private data centers and public clouds, but also the Kubernetes clusters and supporting software addons that need to be provisioned and managed. And that’s on day zero. While some of the multitude of steps end up getting automated, the entire workflow is often not, and ends up requiring ticket-based systems to kick off manual, time-consuming and multi-step processes. In 2023, enterprises will need to think more holistically about automating entire workflows to provision and deploy modern applications in the cloud or in data centers within minutes, not weeks or months.—Haseeb Budhani, co-founder and CEO, Rafay Systems