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Guest View: Debunking the biggest myths about data centres in Asia

Dz Shing Lim, Director, Engineering – Asia Pacific, Digital Realty | March 28, 2014
Data centres are definitely here to stay, evolving over time into more connected, effective and efficient venues, and very likely to support new services and types of technological infrastructure.

Finding your way to Marina Bay Financial Centre, withdrawing cash from your ATM, messaging your friends on Facebook, are activities we might do on a daily basis. These simple activities have one thing in common - they all require computing power that resides in a data centre somewhere in the world.

Despite their critical role in powering the world as we know it today, misconceptions abound about the current role of data centres and their future survival. As one of the world's largest data centre providers, we aim to debunk the most common myths in order to set the record straight.

Myth 1: Data centres are obsolete thanks to the cloud.

Many believe that new technologies and the growth of the public cloud are reducing the need or superseding data centres entirely. The reality is quite the opposite: the cloud has to live in a data centre. We know this first-hand, working with the top five global cloud service providers. The amount of data being generated is growing at an insanely rapid pace from trends such as mobile computing, Big Data analytics, the Internet of Things, the industrial Internet...and the list goes on. All of this data requires a home in a data centre, regardless of whether it's in the cloud or in a dedicated on-premise data centre.

Myth 2: Demand for data centre space is set to decline due to advances in computing and storage capacity.

New technologies are definitely shrinking the density of compute and storage while also improving energy efficiency, but density trends cannot keep pace with proliferating data growth and digitization. Enterprise applications are moving to the cloud, mobilization is driving increased traffic to keep us all continuously connected, the Internet of Things is set to take off, creating a new source of massive amounts of data, and that's just what we can see in the short term.

We've seen cloud infrastructure service clients, for example, experience such strong demand for their cloud-based services that they have outgrown their existing operational infrastructure and have instead chosen to rely on others to build the data centres that can better meet their needs and enable them to scale.

Myth 3: Data centres will need more power than is available.

There is a misconception that power consumption within data centres is going through the roof, and that once they hit a maximum point, additional power will be unavailable. The reality is that we're more likely to run out of physical floor space well before we would ever reach the point where data centres run out of power. Technology advancements are actually making computing and networking technologies far more energy efficient. Even though the volume of data being crunched, stored and exchanged in data centres is growing, power use has actually been relatively flat.


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