Pulsant identifies six predictions for the year ahead

Looking ahead to 2023, UK digital edge infrastructure provider, Pulsant, has identified its six predictions for the changing world of infrastructure.

Ecosystems will power UK business to the edge

As the year progresses, organisations engaged in major projects such as smart cities or industrial IoT implementations will seek out ecosystems over a single-vendor approach. Their dependence on data means these projects will require edge computing for advances such as intelligent, interactive transport systems, remote, AI-powered live video analysis, or highly automated, complex manufacturing.

In each case, organisations will want access to more than just a data centre. They will want edge expertise and an ecosystem of companies with specialist understanding of use cases and specific types of connectivity and backhaul. And they will want to avoid being totally reliant on a single vendor. Mobile edge computing ecosystems, for example, will facilitate faster and more flexible deployment of location-based services, along with content delivery applications. Gartner predicts 25 per cent of supply chain decisions will be made across intelligent edge ecosystems by the end of 2025.

Connectivity will be about more than a mast

Applications focused on real-time and aggregated data analytics need connectivity that has either low jitter, loss, and lag or has dedicated high bandwidth. The telcos have been the first movers in this market with 5G, but carrier fibre delivers waves that are more dependable.

MECs (multi-access edge computing environments) provide IT services, compute, and cloud access but this will soon give way to sliced radio networks or shared services at the metropolitan level. There are already live use cases in the transport and energy sectors, but large-scale adoption will follow once edge infrastructure platforms have fully developed their low latency connectivity, high-speed backhaul to the public cloud, and local computing capabilities.

Regional data centres will hog more of the limelight

Regional data centres will continue their significant growth. ResearchAndMarkets this year said regional data centres outside the M25 and Slough are adding 20,000 sq ms annually. Overall data centre revenue growth will be 36 per cent up to 2025, the market research company believes.

The drivers behind these figures include the global explosion of SaaS applications and the demand for edge infrastructure. Increasing numbers of regional businesses want low latency, and high-bandwidth connectivity so they can implement AI technologies and reap the benefit of SaaS applications. SaaS companies want to deliver those applications from edge data centres.

The development of UK-wide edge computing platforms will continue to shift the way businesses operate and will improve the quality of life for millions of people living outside the main metropolitan areas. It’s already starting to transform content delivery, virtual reality, real-time advertising, and even remote healthcare. 

Organisations choosing a hybrid cloud architecture combine the best of the public or private clouds and on-premises data centres. They can benefit from greater cost control, faster application deployment, and the ability to manage all their workloads centrally while extending advanced orchestration capabilities all the way to the edge.

For advanced protection of their environments, enterprises can also implement role-based access controls and encryption, significantly reducing risk and improving visibility for IT compliance teams. More organisations will realise they can strike the balance between cost, performance, efficiency, flexibility, and security in hybrid environments.

Massive data processing needs to de-couple from climate and ecological harms

Having authentic green credentials is likely to make a significant difference for data centre networks as 2023 unfolds. Potential customers will be looking for the adoption of valid emissions-reductions frameworks such as the Science Based Targets initiatives’ Net Zero Standard. This is the kind of robust and credible approach that enterprises will want to see so they are not accused of ignoring the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The ongoing biodiversity crisis is another factor to consider, with data and technologies being powerful tools for change. For data centre operators, it is important to consider responsible procurement, minimising consumption of scarce natural resources, and ensuring end-of-life equipment is handled in a safe manner.

Data centre operators will be under intense scrutiny, needing to demonstrate they are using valid reporting methodologies that cover everything from facilities to vehicles and the energy they purchase. Data centres demonstrating high levels of renewable energy will clearly be at a major advantage, yet there may well be a push for more information about upstream and downstream climate effects. Data centre operators will need to continue to develop their understanding of these effects to ensure responsible and informed choices.

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