The 11th Annual Global Data Center Survey of Uptime Institute shows the progress in sustainability, inefficiency and extortion in capability growth
The world's largest global data center survey is scheduled for the 11th of its annual Global Data Center Survey, a globalized and comprehensive survey, today announced. The findings reveal an industry enjoying widespread growth while adapting to increasing complexity and challenges such as changing efficiency and sustainability requirements, rising outage costs, the ongoing workforce shortage, supply chain interruptions and more.
"The results of the 2021 survey show continued growth within the sector and the complex challenges the data center owners and operators face today," said Andy Lawrence, Executive Director of Research, Uptime Institute. "The stakes have never been higher when it comes to outage prevention, environmental sustainability and global performance." Why organizations must continue to carefully reassess their mission-critical digital infrastructure and operations to minimize service delivery risk and maximize asiliency."
The Global Data Center Survey of the Uptime Institute provides a comprehensive overview of digital critical infrastructure and explains its current future trajectory. The report 2021 has found key findings, including:
- Despite the global push to achieve sustainability, organizations aren't closely tracking their environmental footprint. While most data center owners and operators track PUE and more than 80 percent measure power consumption and effectiveness, many still don't prioritize vital metrics for improving and reporting sustainability. Just 51% of respondents measure water use in some way (mainly at the individual site and not across all their facilities portfolio). Only one-third of respondents say they track server utilization, and only one third calculate carbon emissions and just 25% track e-waste or equipment lifecycle metrics.
- Staff shortages continue and AI isn't expected to reduce demand in the near future. As the sector grows, the number of qualified data center professionals is growing. Nearly half of owners and operators surveyed report difficulties finding skilled candidates, up from 38% in 2018. It's clear why 75% of respondents think most data center professionals have long-term job security. Three out of four owners and operators believe artificial intelligence will reduce data center staffing needs at some point, but half project this shift is more than five years away.
- The number of outages slowed, but the consequences continue to worsen. In 2021, 69% of data center owners and operators reported experiencing some form of outage (regardless of severity) in the past three years, a notable decrease from 78% in three to 2020. The remaining half cause substantial financial, operational and reputational damage. According to respondents, half of all downtime incidents are fleeting and have little consequences, but more than half will cause significant down time damage as well. And 62% of the outages respondents classified as significant, serious or severe cost more than $100,000 (an increase from 56% in 2020), while 15% of these outage costs over $1 million.
- The most common reason for outages is on-site power, and most downtime incidents are likely preventable. In 2021, on-site power was the most common cause of outages in the year 20, 21 as the same year as previous years, followed by cooling failures, software or IT system error and network problems. The results show that 79% of data center outages involve human error, and that staff failing to execute or correct processes and procedures is the top two issues that contribute to those incidents. Three out of four owners and operators believe their most recent outage was preventable, a 16 percent increase in 2019, compared to the year before.
- The rise of pandemic pressures and more disrupt data center supply chains. The supply chain has deteriorated over the past year due to the COVID-19 crisis, the extreme weather and political factors that caused the collapse of the supply chains. Most data centers supplier anticipate that problems with the supply of critical data center products and services in the coming two years will affect capital expenditure or IT equipment availability, either. Only 25% of suppliers believe there won't be any delays or impacts.
- Data center suppliers expect large cloud and internet companies to reshape the supply chain. Nearly one-third of suppliers expect the majority of their customers to own data centers 20 MW or more within five years. half report that these larger customers often seek to deliver projects on timelines, budgets or scales that prove challenging Half of suppliers believe big data center operators will likely take more control of their custom designs and create their own supply chains to bypass traditional equipment sourcing options in the next three to five years.
- The high density of racks is creeping up. Rack density slowly increases but remains relatively modest, with typical well under 10 kilowatts (kW) per IT cabinet even in flagship sites. More than one-third of respondents stated that their most common rack density is currently below 5 kW, while nearly half reported between 5 and 10 %. According to the survey results, there is a shift toward more powerful racks, between 5 and 10 kW, in larger facilities with fewer than three megawatts (MW) of maximum IT load supported, compared to smaller sites
- PUE continues to rise. In 2021, the average annualized data center power usage effectiveness (PUE) was 1,57, a minor improvement from 2020's average of 1,59, and the overall trend of PUE stagnation over the last five years.
- The data center is extending. More than 60% of respondents anticipate that the edge computing demand will increase this year. In 2020, over one-fourth (26%) expect demand to grow significantly, compared to just 18%.
- Cloud providers lack transparency. Despite the increased volume of mission-critical workloads in the public cloud, a quarter of respondents would be more inclined to do so if visibility into the operational resiliency of the service was better.
- Despite progress, the proportion of women in the datacenter industry remains low. Nearly one-third (30%) of owners and operators say women working in their data centers have increased over the past year. There is still a lot of work to do. More than 75% of respondents report that women make up just 10% of their workforce, while only 5% say half of the staff are women. This aligns with gender disparity levels Uptime Institute has reported since 2018.
Learn more For more information on the data center survey results, please download the full report here. Uptime Institute will host seminars on the survey results in multiple times and languages starting September 16 at 10:00 AM. Click here to view the complete schedule and register.
About the survey Uptime Institute conducts its annual Global Data Center Survey online and in a mail mail. This year's study was conducted in the H1 2021 study, and includes responses from more than 800 data center owners and operators responsible for managing infrastructure at the world' largest IT organizations. It also includes insights from more than 550 data center suppliers, designers and advisors from around the world.
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