Another year down. Although 2016 was turbulent, to say the least, in the data center world things keep chugging along at an exciting pace. With mega-mergers completing, cloud adoption accelerating, and green energy continuing to make headlines, the data center industry keeps on changing and growing.
Here are the biggest headlines from around the data center world, plus the most popular posts from our own blog this year. Catch up on the articles getting the most clicks before we say goodbye to 2016 and usher in the New Year.
Telecoms Give Up on Data Centers
After buying up cloud providers and beefing up data center facilities for several years in hopes of selling additional hosting services to their business customers, both Verizon and CenturyLink bowed out of the data center market this year, putting their facilities up for sale. For a while it looked as though only CenturyLink would have its data centers sold by the end of the year, but Verizon announced their own buyer this month.
US Data Centers Consume Vast Amounts of Energy – But Are Very Efficient Overall
The US Department of Energy, working with researchers at Stanford, Northwestern, and Carnegie Mellon, released a report on data center energy consumption. With many articles and think pieces dedicated to the sheer energy use of our digital lives, you might expect this report to be devastating, and Greenpeace to salivate at the sight of it. It turns out that data centers, while consuming a massive 70 billion kilowatt-hours of energy (equivalent to 2% of all US energy consumption), became much more efficient in the past four years. If they were just as efficient as in 2010, energy consumption should have been closer to 110 billion kilowatt-hours, so efficiency improvements essentially saved around 40 billion kWh.
ASHRAE Gets Rid of PUE
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is an influential industry group that publishes a standard and guidelines for data center facility design. This year they decided to drop Power Usage Effectiveness as a requirement for their standards, shaking up the efficiency benchmark. PUE was cited as too easy to manipulate and too variable across differing environments. For example, a facility that is built out completely for power and cooling but not yet filled with equipment will have a poor PUE rating. Efficiency measurements will naturally remain a vital piece of data center design, but PUE might be on its way out as the de facto standard.
Dell-EMC Merger Closes
While this news was largely a remnant of 2015, when the merger of industry giants Dell and EMC was announced, it still reverberated across the I.T. world. Clearing regulatory hurdles, Dell-EMC is now a single entity, and the largest privately controlled tech company in the world.
Containers Continue to Generate Interest
Containers, an alternate technology to traditional virtualization that make it simple to host and move applications, have become one of the hottest trends in the data center. 2016 will likely be remembered as the year that containers truly reached mainstream awareness and adoption, with over 50% reporting they are at least considering them, and 64% planning to “mainstream” them within a year.
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Our own humble blog received quite a bit of traffic this year, with How-To articles remaining some of our top posts. But industry trends also reared their head in these Top 5 articles:
Data Center Access Controls at the Cabinet and Rack Level
Director of Data Centers & Compliance Art Salazar explains why securing racks and cabinets is a vital practice in data centers, plus how even rack security has experienced some innovation.
What is Cloud Storage Durability & Do You Really Need 11 Nines?
Durability in the context of cloud storage refers to how reliable it is, with many providers using the “11 nines,” or 99.9999999990% as a standard. This post describes why you may or may not need that kind of durability. Depending on your application, you can save some storage costs and still experience reliable storage service.
Employees Remain Biggest IT Security Threat, But Training & Investment Still Lag Behind
This post explains the biggest threats facing IT departments — and the number one, according to surveys and statistics, remains the internal threat of employees. However, multiple studies also show that IT teams are not spending money on user activity, education, or prevention of internal breaches or infections.
An Introduction to vSphere Networking: vSwitch & VLAN
Virtual networking is a major piece of the software defined data center (SDDC). Get an introduction to the concept and learn about VMware’s take on it with a description of vSwitch and VLAN.
Survey: Data Center Pros Weigh in on Edge Data Centers
Our April 2016 survey of 492 IT professionals revealed that nearly 50% plan to use an edge data center. However, we also wanted to clarify what exactly the industry perceives as “edge.” See the most important features as reported by the survey respondents, plus what we think it all means for the future of edge facilities.
There you have it! Our top data center news from 2016. Looking forward, which trends do you think will keep their momentum into 2017? Sound off @greenhousedata!