As we delve deep into another year there are no shortage of summaries over the last year and predictions for 2020 and the next decade. The last year, as the year before, has seen even more awareness of climate change and advocation for renewable energy sources. Along with this is the demand for smarter services, which require ever more IT equipment and consequently more data centers to support that equipment. Among these services is operations for those data centers, allowing new and updated data centers to aim for their personalized PUE to be less than 1.1. With most of the large IT and colocation providers also aiming to be supported by renewables, whether directly or via power purchase agreements, the data center industry has been improving faster than many others.
Since data centers aren’t just using the advanced technology to improve themselves but are at the core of supporting the smarter systems worldwide, these facilities are starting to be viewed a massive part of the solution. Already big tech companies are using AI and machine learning to control and optimize the power and cooling systems; and this is not just indirectly but adjusting with minimal oversight and adjustment by facility personnel. They are truly becoming self-driving data centers.
Add that many of the other things we’ve been advocating for years are now common, such as containment and lights-out, we are getting closer and closer to an unoccupied facility that can do just fine without any human intervention. For now, us humans will still be tasked with assisting with failures, whether at the servers or the support equipment – that is until robots are finally developed to perform some or all of those duties too.