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The Data Center in 2016: What to Watch For

December 31, 2015

So 2015 is at an end, and it's time for a variety of celebrations to send it merrily off into the sunset and welcome in 2016 instead. What will 2016 bring? No one's really sure, but a look at 2015 suggests a few key possibilities for data centers 2016.

First, it's likely that more colocation operations will make the move to renewable energy. We all know that data centers run on power, and positively epic amounts of same, but when operations can generate at least some of that internally, the power bill necessarily drops. Plus, it makes businesses less vulnerable to power outages, a condition that once stopped business for the entire day.

Second, enterprises are set to put more demand on colocation centers for cloud needs. Enterprises are seeing plenty of value with public cloud operations, but there are plenty of concerns remaining, particularly security concerns. That's where colocation centers can shine, offering cloud services over direct network links, making it more attractive to enterprise users.

Third, look for a spike in data center construction in Europe. Following the death of the Safe Harbor principle thanks to the European Court of Justice, an alternative framework really hasn't come around yet. Businesses who can will likely start building out data centers in response. Construction for edge data centers will likewise continue, particularly as such centers contribute to streaming video operations.

Finally, expect one or two of the major telecom firms out there to offload its data center loadout. With Amazon Web Services clearly in control, and Microsoft Azure putting a ton of money into catching up, it's going to put a really restricting effect on telco operations. Some are likely to choose abandonment over continuing operations—AT&T has already been seen sending its managed hosting operations to IBM—and that's a point that may carry on in 2016.

Given what we know so far, these projections seem valid enough, though it's entirely possible that a desire for greater cost savings or a need to put resources elsewhere will impact some of these. For instance, the new construction of data centers in general may put pressure on the ability to pay for green power generation, or vice versa. Each is a valid concept, but for companies who don't have the cash and can't get the loans to carry out both topics, some may face a one-or-the-other concept.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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