SAN FRANCISCO — AFCOM and Data Center World revealed the results of its fifth annual State of the Data Center Industry research report during a virtual event on May 13. The report, which has been a fixture at the annual Data Center World industry conference, will show that cloud computing usage is shifting dramatically toward a hybrid approach, jumping 26% in one year, and that the increase in data center density is outpacing new data center growth.

The comprehensive report surveyed data center professionals to determine implementation trends and buying patterns in areas, such as servers, cooling, edge computing, storage, DCIM, and security. Other issues covered by the report include budgeting, hiring, skills and training, energy consumption, and diversity.

Key highlights of the report include:

  • More than 40% of respondents said they’d be deploying robotics and automation for data center monitoring and maintenance over the next three years.
  • Up to 62% of those surveyed said they are all set for new data center space for the next three years and will focus more on increasing the density of the racks they have.
  • Colocation and private data centers are benefiting from a shift away from public cloud options, as 58% report such a move.
  • Almost three in four companies (72%) report they are implementing or expanding their diversity, equality, or inclusion programs.
  • Security remains a top concern, as many focus on securing their environment from outside human threats, ransomware (59%), and persistent DDoS attacks (34%). Further, respondents are now looking at “zero trust” to create security models without perimeters.

Bill Kleyman — author of the report, contributing editor to AFCOM and Data Center World, and executive vice president of digital solutions for Switch — will keynote the virtual event and provide detail and context of the report’s findings. It will be followed by a panel discussion amongst members of AFCOM’s Data Center Institute who will provide attendees with practical advice on how to interpret the report and prepare their data centers for the coming trends.

“It was an extraordinary year for everyone,” Kleyman said. “In the data center space and technology space, we witnessed firsthand just how critical digital infrastructure is to a connected society. In this report, we asked several first-time questions, including impacts from the pandemic, diversity and inclusion

initiatives, and even the adoption of new security methodologies like zero trust. In this special report, we’ll take an even deeper look into what supports the most critical infrastructures in our digital economy.”