How COVID-19 Data Usage Spikes Affect Data Center Design


How COVID-19 Data Usage Spikes Affect Data Center Design

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions across the globe. 

Over the past few months, many people around the world have spent the bulk of their time at home. With things like concerts, restaurants, and shopping malls shut down due to the pandemic, the population as a whole has understandably increased their internet and data usage. At the same time, many professionals are working out of their homes, utilizing additional bandwidth along the way. 

Believe it or not, the coronavirus pandemic has increased broadband usage by 47 percent year-over-year. And earlier in March, Microsoft saw a whopping 775 percent increase of usage of its cloud services, which slowed their infrastructure considerably at the time. What’s more, Verizon also reported that voice use on its networks increased 25 percent year-to-year, during initial shelter-in-place regional mandates .

No matter where you look, data usage is through the roof during this unprecedented time.

With more individuals sheltering-in-place and socially distancing, there’s more gaming, more video streaming and more downloads taking place, putting additional pressure on data center infrastructure globally. Those who work from home are consuming more bandwidth too, thanks to video conferencing and the fact that workloads are being moved away from the enterprise and to our homes on the edge of networks.

What does this all mean for companies that provide digital services?

By adding capacity, supplementing or increasing volume when transitioning to remote work or providing services to consumers, companies that offer digital services can remove friction and actually accelerate their businesses during a time of social distancing.  

Since customers are four times more likely to switch brands after a bad experience, being able to accommodate an influx of traffic and meet user expectations increases the chances your customers stick around.

Most of us were probably a little more forgiving during the beginning of the pandemic. But as time goes on, users may be less willing to give cloud providers, social networks and SaaS services the benefit of the doubt. The better the experiences you’re able to deliver to your users during these trying times, the more likely they will be to continue utilizing your  products or solutions and supporting your brand.

[Guide] Ensure your project’s success doesn’t fall victim to an unreliable  supply chain by working with a supplier that embraces vendor agnosticism and  open sourcing.

Implications for the future of data center design

If there’s a lesson to be learned by organizations here, it’s that COVID-19 has highlighted the need for a highly scalable data center footprint that can rapidly expand to support an ever-increasing amount of traffic. 

Although digital usage levels might decrease a bit once COVID-19 is behind us, it’s safe to say that as time goes on and more companies opt to allow more and more of their workforces to work remotely, both individuals and companies will need their increasing data demands met —which will require more computing and processing power, and an efficient, powerful data center infrastructure to supply it.

Add it all up, and it points in the same direction: hyperscale tech companies, telecom providers and other similar organizations need to figure out how to design and build powerful data centers quickly and cost-effectively, while ensuring high quality. That way, they will be able to accommodate as much traffic as they need to, while meeting user expectations and delivering strong experiences at scale.

Suffice to say that meeting these requirements through the traditional methods of stick-built data center construction is a tall order—at best.

How to overcome data center design challenges

With data center demand poised to increase for the foreseeable future, it is critical that organizations develop a robust data center strategy that enables them to get new servers up and running rapidly.

We may be a bit biased, but we believe the easiest way to do this is by choosing to take the modular approach to data center construction. 

Modular construction enables you to rest comfortably knowing that a team of professionals committed to the highest standards is assembling all components of your data center in a highly regulated and protected environment. The modules are then shipped directly to your property and assembled on-site. This enables you to speed up project timelines by as much as 50 percent, while reducing costs by up to 20 percent. 

What’s not to like?

To learn more about what the data center industry will look like over the next decade and why modular data center design will become the preferred method of data center construction, check out our free report, The State of the Data Center Industry in the New Decade.New call-to-action


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