Expert discusses key challenges facing data centers this year
Honeywell ’ s Senior Data Center Director , Alpesh Saraiya , has unveiled key challenges facing the data center industry this year , centring on : mounting sustainability pressure , a skills gap exacerbated by senior experts retiring in the next decade and an acquisition-induced race to reduce operational costs . This comes as Australia ’ s data center market heads towards circa AU $ 13.5 billion by 2027 and Asia-Pacific continues to move towards overtaking the US as the largest data center market .
Data centers play a critical role in keeping the global economy productive . Demand for data storage and processing has become insatiable worldwide , which makes it more challenging than ever to operate and scale these facilities efficiently . Managers also face mounting pressure to make their operations more energy efficient . Data centers consume about 3 % of the world ’ s electricity – more than most countries – and produce 2 % of global carbon emissions – about the same as the entire airline industry .
Given the exponentially increasing demand , managers are often forced to do more with less , while at the same dealing with tougher internal environmental , social and governance ( ESG ) directives and more stringent regulatory landscapes . When preparing for the months ahead , operators should factor in three significant trends : continued pressure to cut operating costs ; increasing demand for more sustainable facilities ; and a growing shortage of talent interested in and qualified for managing data centers .
Rapid scaling with a sharp focus on managing OPEX
To meet the unrelenting demand , both hyperscale and colocation data center operators have aggressively acquired smaller firms – but this practice has created as many problems as it has solved . For one , it creates a pastiche of ‘ snowflake ’ designs – no two are exactly alike – which means major headaches for integrators and heftier operating expenses ( OPEX ) for owners .