On-Site Data Center Growth Is Accelerating. Again.

Server cabinets slowly appearing as a cloud disappears above them

Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Cloud-first strategies have changed the way businesses approach technical challenges relating to applications and storage. But if you’ve noticed that pressures on the local data center have increased, you’re not alone.

New research released by IHS Markit found that on-site storage demands are still accelerating. In fact, survey respondents expect their on-site capacity to grow by 24% in the next twelve months.

A huge physical footprint

All of this new storage needs to be housed somewhere– and data centers themselves are expanding at a phenomenal rate. The same IHS Markit report discovered that:

  • The average number of physical servers used by businesses grew from 243 in 2018 to 364 in 2019.
  • In order to house all these new machines, the average number of data centers increased from 14 to 19 over the same period.

At the same time, cloud storage use is also growing. Off-premise capacity demands are expected to increase by 45% this year.

Cloud, complexity and convergence

Far from simplifying the CTO’s role, cloud storage and hybrid infrastructure is increasing network complexity. One solution– as outlined in the IHS report– is to deploy more converged/hyper-converged systems.

Indeed, more than half of those questioned plan to use greater convergence to simplify operations if possible. Convergence of infrastructure should help with the transition towards object-based storage, as used by the most popular cloud platforms.

The continued growth of on-premise storage, although surprising, is actually the logical flipside of industry preference for hybrid cloud deployments. Because cloud platforms are not suited to every application, on-site servers and arrays will remain essential to operations. And given that capacity demands grow exponentially, new servers will be needed in your data center for the foreseeable future.

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