Report forecasts tripling of edge sites by 2025

Friday, 12 July, 2019

Report forecasts tripling of edge sites by 2025

Vertiv has released a mid-point update of its industry-wide data centre survey — Data Centre 2025: Exploring the Possibilities — revealing fundamental industry shifts that barely registered in the forecasts made at the project launch five years ago.

The update — Data Centre 2025: Closer to the Edge — found that business migration to edge computing is changing the way industry leaders think about data centres. They are grappling with a broad data centre ecosystem comprising many types of facilities, relying increasingly on the edge of the network.

Of participants who currently have edge sites or expect to have edge sites by 2025, more than half (53%) expect the number of edge sites they support to grow by at least 100%, with 20% expecting a 400% or more increase. Collectively, survey participants expect their total number of edge computing sites will grow 226% between now and 2025.

During the original 2014 research, the edge was acknowledged as a growing trend but merited just four mentions in the 19-page report. The industry’s attention at that point was focused firmly on hybrid architectures leveraging enterprise, cloud and colocation resources. Even in an industry that routinely moves and changes at light speed, the growth of the edge and the dramatic impact it will have on the data centre is staggering.

“In just five short years, we have seen the emergence of an entirely new segment of the ecosystem, driven by the need to locate computing closer to the user,” said Vertiv CEO Rob Johnson.

“This new distributed network is reliant on a mission-critical edge that has fundamentally changed the way we think about the data centre.”

Vertiv President of Asia and India Anand Sanghi said, “The results of the survey are reflective of what we are seeing and hearing from our customers on the ground here in Asia.

“We are seeing an intelligence continuum from the cloud to the edge, meaning a seamless integration of intelligent devices complementing growing compute power. This requires a significant investment in edge infrastructure that’s fully flexible and resilient to be able to deliver real-time compute and meet customers’ expectations,” he said.

More than 800 data centre professionals participated in the survey, with the following findings found to be of note:

  • In 2014, respondents projected that about 34% of data centre power would be generated by solar and wind by 2025. Now, the expectation is 21% — still optimistic, but mindful of the ambitious timeline.
  • Globally, 16% of participants expect to be retired by 2025, exacerbating an already problematic talent shortage. In the US that number is an alarming 33%.

“Shifting workloads to the cloud has helped mitigate the impact of labour challenges in the short term, but as hybrid IT and edge computing continue to grow the skills gap is becoming a more serious issue,” said Robert Linsdell, Managing Director for Vertiv in Australia and New Zealand.

“These changes require new skills that may not exist in the legacy workforce, and this could hamper the ability of some IT organisations to support their businesses as they continue to evolve.”

To view the full report, click here.

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