The role of data centers is quickly changing, driven by the cloud, data growth and IT cost reduction. This leads to new challenges when it comes to future-proofing data center infrastructures.

Minkels — part of the publicly traded company Legrand — has published a number of white papers which can be used as a guide to creating a future-proof and energy-efficient data center. Minkels is now publishing a new white paper about the micro data center titled, ‘White paper 09 – Micro data centres: from strategy to implementation.’

The micro data center market is expected to expand globally from 2.67 billion dollars in 2017 to 8.47 billion dollars in 2022.1 Niek van der Pas (Minkels’ Lead Data Center Expert and author of white paper 09) explains: “Looking at the data center market, three drivers that are affecting market demand can be distinguished. First of all, more and more applications are ending up in the cloud. As a result, many companies only need a small and clear data center — though it still has to meet the requirements of a large one.” 

Other companies choose to outsource their IT to commercial data centers or cloud data centers. “These companies can reduce the size of their in-house data centers, which means more efficiency: lower energy use and more predictable (operational) costs. Last but not least, there is the Internet of Things (IoT) – the main driver in the micro data center market. In 2014, there were about 14 billion devices connected worldwide. By 2020 there will be 50 billion.2 Centralised data processing does not always fit IoT applications, for instance because of low latency requirements (edge analytics). IoT applications therefore require this data to be handled locally by using micro data centers.”

IoT has a major impact on the data center ecosystem and on connectivity. Both the core and the edge layer offer new chances and challenges. “When implemented correctly, micro data centers can become the cornerstone of the modern IT Infrastructure — fulfilling all the needs of a high demanding low latency highly available IT-platform at the edge”, says Van der Pas. “To understand the considerations leading to the selection of the best micro data center solution, white paper 09 discusses the Data Center Decoupling Point (DCDP), a stakeholder analysis and a business risk analysis which will be translated into availability, security and resource efficiency demands. All these aspects are projected to the practical implementation of a micro data center strategy. White paper 09 guides the reader in making the right considerations and choices.”


1. Source: Markets and Markets

2. Source: Cisco