DCR November 2020

Page 18


When demand dictates design Brian Johnson, ABB’s global data centre lead, explores how unprecedented data demand is shaping the evolution of data centre design.


here is no doubt that the data centre sector is witnessing the highest level of demand in its short history. Driven mainly by our increasing thirst for content delivery networks for entertainment, education, home working and online commerce, data centre usage has increased 47% during recent months.

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Demand is so high that the amount of data we now generate is growing 40 times as fast as the world’s population, and we expect IoT devices to create 90 zettabytes (ZB) of data by 2025. With the data centre construction market predicted to grow by $31.7 billion during 2020-2024, we will see increasing demand for more agile operations tailored to specific needs and the evolution of system design. Modern data centres are large purpose-built, mission critical pieces of infrastructure, with much more in common with industrial facilities than with commercial ones. As such, it seems natural that industrial-grade automation systems should be used to monitor and manage data centre infrastructure and design, particularly as the impact of 5G and IoT starts to be felt.