Managing a data center has grown in complexity in recent years. Companies are facing ever-increasing operational challenges, in which they play the core business of IT deployments on premises, along with workloads that have moved to the cloud and even edge installations that come from the edge computing. To this must be added the growing difficulty in attracting the best IT talent and the uncertainty caused by phenomena such as the pandemic or the chip crisis and therefore the increase in the prices of critical components.
This is part of the image that is drawn in the Global Data Center Survey 2021 report, prepared by the Uptime Institute. Their results show a sector enjoying widespread growth, while adapting to increasing complexity and challenges such as evolving efficiency and sustainability requirements, rising costs of outages, current labor shortages. and supply chain disruptions, among others. In addition, it detects the following trends that deserve to be taken into account.
In 2021, companies are experiencing fewer outages in their data centers. This is assured by a study prepared by Uptime, a company that analyzes the number and severity of outages that occur at these facilities.
According to the analysis firm, 69% of the operators and companies surveyed in 2021, experienced some type of interruption in the service they offer to their customers, over the last three years; This percentage represents a significant drop if we take into account that in 2020, 78% declared having suffered such interruptions in their data centers, in the same period of time.
For Uptime, this improvement can be attributed, at least in part, to the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this sense, it is considered that in this context, activity in data centers has been reduced, there have been fewer personnel managing the equipment, fewer updates and changes have been made, traffic has decreased and, as a consequence of all the above, CPDs have gained in stability.
In terms of incident type, the report notes that roughly half of data center outages cause significant revenue, time, and reputational damage to the business. This year, 20% of those reported were considered serious and six out of ten major outages had a cost of more than $ 100,000. Among the causes, energy management remains the main one (43%), followed by network incidents (14%), thermal insulation (14%) or hardware / software maintenance errors (14%).
More mission-critical workloads in the cloud
That service interruptions are relatively less important than in other years is also partly due to the fact that more and more companies are relying on the public cloud to move mission-critical workloads.
In this sense, from 26% of companies that relied on the cloud for this task in 2019, in 2021 the number of them has grown to 33%. Of the 74% who at that time declared that they were not willing to do so, it has dropped to the current 67%.
In this progressive migration of this type of load, from Uptime they explain that public cloud companies are beginning to respond to “the demand to offer greater visibility as part of their efforts to reach larger companies. This trend to improve access and supplier oversight will probably accelerate in the coming years, as competition increases as well as the need to respond to all kinds of requirements. compliance ”.
Despite this concern about their visibility and operational transparency, 61% of respondents who have their workloads spread across their on-premises, cloud, and colocation sites believe that the distribution of their workloads across these locations their resilience has increased.
Cargo repatriation in the cloud: myth or reality
Much has been written about a supposed trend that points to a rethinking of the journey to the public cloud and that leads companies to backtrack, returning to a local environment. If this is something that does happen occasionally for various operational reasons, the Uptime survey points to the opposite: what goes up to the cloud stays in the cloud.
In this sense, when the study asks respondents if they have repatriated workloads from the public cloud to a private cloud or to a space on premises, 70% of companies say no. Among the 30% of companies that say they have taken the step, the main reason for doing so is related to cost, which is followed by compliance and your concern for security or privacy.
Edge Computing Demand Keeps Growing
Most of those surveyed consider that the demand for edge computing will continue to grow throughout this year, with 26% of them stating that they will also do so in a very significant way.
In the medium term, more than 40% of those surveyed expect to use this type of technology in their IT infrastructure, while almost 20% affirm that they probably do so in shared or co-location facilities, and to a lesser extent (5%) They will use outsourced or included public cloud services.
In this area, Uptime experts point out that in addition to greater business flexibility and low capital investment, the advantages of edge Shared facilities will include less complexity compared to managing multiple geographically dispersed sites.
The fight for the best talent
Attracting and, above all, retaining the best talent, continues to be one of the great problems that companies suffer at the moment, in a trend that manifests itself in a very marked way in the IT sector.
Among those surveyed, 47% say they have difficulty finding qualified candidates for job openings, and 32% say their employees are being hired by their own competitors. Broadly speaking, Uptime projects that staffing needs will grow worldwide to about 2.3 million full-time employees by 2025.