By virtue of its name, starting from the days of the mainframe, we traditionally tend to think of the “data center” as the central point for the data processing, storage, as well as the nexus of the data network. While this was clearly the case for most data centers in the last century, this has begun to change since the advent of the internet. The trend has gained momentum, as software centric architecture, such as virtualization coupled with data replication distributed content networks became widespread. And of course, last but not least, the “cloud,” which has now become the metaphorical data center of today’s universe.
In some cases data centers are really not storing, or processing data as such, instead they store and deliver content, such as music, videos, and movies. Moreover, for the past few years, we have repeatedly heard the warnings of the coming tsunami of data from the Internet of Things (IoT). Furthermore, the terms edge, hybrid, and modular, as well as micro, hyper, and mega have crept into today’s buzzwords which are now used in conjunction with data centers. So what about 5G, and how will it impact the role and design of the data center power and cooling infrastructure?