As processor utilisation rates increase to run advanced applications such as facial recognition or advanced data analytics, high power processors create a need for innovative approaches to thermal management. Direct liquid cooling at the chip – meaning the processor or other components are partially or fully immersed in a liquid for heat dissipation – is becoming a viable solution.
Although most commonly used in high performance computing configurations, the benefits – including better server performance, improved efficacy in high densities, and reduced cooling costs – justify additional consideration.
Another area of innovation in thermal management is extreme water-free cooling, which is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional chilled water.
The other four trends identified are as follows:
- Simplifying the edge: A smarter, simpler, more self-sufficient edge of the network is converging with broader industry and consumer trends, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and the looming roll-out of 5G networks, to drive powerful, low-latency computing closer to the end-user.
- Workforce revolution: A workforce ageing into retirement and training programmes lagging behind the data centre and edge evolution are creating staffing challenges for data centres around the globe which will trigger parallel actions in 2019.
- Smarter, more efficient UPS systems: New battery alternatives will present opportunities for the broad adoption of UPS systems capable of more elegant interactions with the grid.
- Pursuing normalisation: The data centre, even in the age of modular and prefabricated design, remains far too complex to expect full-fledged standardisation of equipment. However, there is interest on two fronts: standardisation of equipment components and normalisation across data centre builds.