White paper outlines how new demands are driving the hyper-connected economy and shaping the future of the data centre industry

The hyper-connected nature of today’s global economy is providing enormous opportunities for data centre operators, with the market for new facilities on a sustained upward trajectory, according to a new white paper from Telehouse, the pioneering carrier-neutral data centre company.

However, there are also some challenges, and data centre providers cannot afford to rest on their laurels, the paper says. In the document, entitled How the Modern Data Centre Meets the Need of a Hyper-connected Global Economy, Telehouse explains how the popularity of mobile video services, the emergence of new business models based around the Internet of Things (IoT), and the widespread use of cloud services are key drivers of the hyper-connected economy and are placing huge pressure on data centre infrastructure. 

The paper examines the commissioning of Telehouse Europe’s new North Two £135m data centre in London, which will deliver clients 24,000 sq. m of gross area across an 11-storey building located in Telehouse’s existing Docklands campus in London. It looks at how the architecture of the new facility has been specifically designed to meet increasing customer demand for connectivity, both in terms of software platforms that can be accessed and through the number of business partners that can be reached via resilient, secure, low-latency links.

The research suggests technological advancement in areas such as mobile video, cloud computing and the IoT means that the requirement for data storage and transmission is being propelled forward at an unprecedented rate. It predicts that connectivity across diverse platforms and partners is likely to be the key consideration for data centre customers over the medium term. Furthermore, it anticipates data centre providers are going to have to be increasingly flexible in their thinking when it comes to the addition of new storage capacity and transmission needed to proactively meet the priorities of the hyper-connected economy.

The report concludes that while it is clear that the hyper-connected economy is underpinning a vibrant data centre sector, it is only through the continued investment in modern, efficient data centre infrastructure that the hyper-connected economy will reach its full potential.

The full white paper can be downloaded here: http://www.telehouse.net/resources/the-hyper-connected-data-centre. See over for a summary of the key findings.

Greg Hands, minister of state for international trade, commented: “Telehouse’s decision to make the UK its European hub of operations is a testament to our strong and growing digital economy. As a pioneer in the data centre sector, this new data centre located within Telehouse’s historic Docklands campus will provide unrivalled connectivity, contributing to the UK’s long and strong history in innovation.”

Hands continued: “It’s great to see this company’s continued investment in the UK and I’m pleased the Department for International Trade has been able to support them throughout this process. I hope that more international companies follow their lead and take advantage of the many strengths that make the UK a great place in which to invest.”

Key White Paper Findings Summary

The hyper-connected nature of today’s global economy is providing enormous opportunities for data centre operators, with the market for new facilities on a sustained upward trajectory, and predicted to be worth $32.3 billion by 2020. (Footnote/source).  Rapidly increasing data traffic is propelling demand for new storage, which is leading to the construction of a string of datacentres across the globe. The market for colocation centres, meanwhile, continues to thrive.

For data centre providers, the emergence of hyper-connected economy, where people, places, organisations and objects are linked together like never before, presents both an opportunity and a challenge. While demand for data storage is likely to remain buoyant, rapidly-evolving communication technologies are likely to require new thinking around data centre architectures.

Predicted trends include the emergence of so-called edge data centres, with the potential to provide enterprises that have a highly distributed customer base faster access to applications and even more processing power. Then there is the perennial drive for data centre efficiency. So, while the data centre providers are in an encouraging position, the demands of the hyper-connected environment mean they cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

Demand drivers in the data centre sector includethe growth of visual networking and cloud computing resulting in the creation of unprecedented amounts of data required to flow across networks in a reliable, predictable and low-latency manner. An even greater opportunity comes with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) which will mean a staggering increase in incoming traffic, with the data from multitudes of sensors requiring a lot more bandwidth than can be managed by current infrastructure.

To maximise this opportunity, Telehouse’s Docklands campus, where Telehouse North Two is located, has been designed as a connectivity hub. It hosts more than 530 carriers, ISPs and ASPs in the London campus alone, making it one of the most connected locations on the planet. Leveraging the connectivity in locations like this is becoming an essential part of organisations’ integrated IT strategies, especially those that demand low latency connections to the widest audience possible. The campus can support customers who require networks that interconnect across various data centres locally, or want to connect to international sites. In the hyper-connected economy, this wide-ranging eco-system of diverse organisations offers many benefits, as customers look to make the most of the business opportunities that such a structure affords.

For Telecommunications and mobile networks, both businesses and end users require increasing volumes of data. End users are consuming more video content and cloud applications so mobile providers, such as O2 and Vodafone, utilise the data centre ecosystem to connect to a plethora of internet exchanges, international networks and national ISP’s to reach as many people as possible. Traditional network providers also seek new revenue opportunities by transferring greater cloud and applications between enterprises’ data centres and branch locations. Network customers, then, are increasingly demanding that data centre infrastructure supports access to a diverse range of services through proximity and access to a wide range of potential enterprise customers, leading internet exchanges, ISP’s and cloud service providers. Access to emerging markets is also a significant requirement, to be delivered through low-latency links to global data centres in other parts of the world. These connectivity requirements are underpinned by the need for data centres with flexible and scalable architecture.

Content and media providers, the creators and distributors of digital information, have become an increasingly important driver of the hyper-connected economy, especially those defined as Over-the-Top (OTT) players - identified as applications and services that are accessible over the internet – such as WhatsApp, Netflix, Facebook and Google. From a data centre perspective, what this requires is a collaborative environment where all the media and platforms are interconnected, which is crucial to ensure speed of delivery, consistency and quality of experience, no matter where the consumer interacts with their brand. Of course the less distance the data needs to travel the more cost-efficient it will also be.

Enterprises have their own challenges, specifically around managing the growth in big data. More and more companies are looking to use the emergence of cloud computing to reduce their total cost of ownership by providing their users with applications via cloud services. To do this, thought, they need an infrastructure that allows internal end users access to applications and data quickly and easily, along with seamless communication between branch offices and customers.    Data centres must provide access to a broad range of platforms in a secure environment as well as opportunities to exchange information and drive collaboration with business partners in a low latency environment with fast connections.

As the flexibility of business working continues to drive cloud adoption, cloud service providers need to offer their customers easy integration from on-to-off premise storage and seamless access to their data, along with cast-iron assurances that their data is being protected at all times. This can only be done in a data centre with security and resilience built-in.

The report concludes that while it is clear that the hyper-connected economy is underpinning a vibrant data centre sector, with plenty of scope for global growth, the challenge, for data centre providers, is to ensure that they have the capacity and the flexibility to meet customers’ needs. At the heart of this driver is an increasing requirement for connectivity – both in terms of access to platforms and partners. It is only through the continued investment in modern, efficient data centre infrastructure that the hyper-connected economy will reach its full potential.