The Uptime Institute has been a reference for many years when it comes to evaluating the health of data centers across the globe.
This Institute conducts a comprehensive annual survey that includes 800 data center owners and operators from around the world, as well as 700 CPD providers, designers, and advisers from across the world. This year, the industry is facing interesting difficulties, such as the need to prolong the useful life of its equipment technology or the difficulty in attracting qualified personnel to fill the growing demand for new professional talent.
Here are some of the most interesting findings from this year's survey.
According to the main manufacturers, the life cycle of servers in company data centers is increasing.
According to the UpTime Institute's 2015 survey, only 34% of businesses stated that they tend to use their servers longer than recommended; this percentage has increased to 52% in 2022.
The semiconductor crisis, which has affected the technology industry in the last two years, has also impacted smaller businesses in this sector, since they have had to postpone the updating of non-essential components of their infrastructure.
On the other hand, this might reflect a sluggishness in server energy efficiency improvements. Normally, each new generation of servers improves its energy efficiency with respect to the models it replaces, achieving less electricity consumption in the data center as a whole.
As the number and size of data centers throughout the world continues to grow, so do employment openings and the need to recruit professionals who specialize in data center management.
According to Uptime, global staffing demands have increased from 2 million full-time positions in 2019 to almost 2.3 million in 2022. Some of these new positions also include new categories that previously existed only five years ago but that require special expertise.
The Institute reports that 53% of data center operators experienced difficulties in recruiting qualified professionals, compared to 47% in 2021 and 38% in 2018. Furthermore, 42% have reported serious difficulties in this area, often due to the "signing" of their best employees by the competition. In 2028, only 17% of firms faced a similar situation.
Uptime claims that the number of service interruptions that data centers have experienced in the last year has decreased in general. In 2022, 60% of those surveyed said they had experienced at least one interruption in the last three years, compared to 69% who said it in 2021 and 78% who indicated it in 2020.
Despite the lower number of interruptions recorded per center and the less frequent with which they occur, the total number of them has risen throughout the world, in large part due to the faster speed with which they occur. they are building new data centers.
The most concerning fact in this section is that when these interruptions occur, they are generally more costly. In this sense, the Institute suggests that interruptions costing more than one million dollars have increased significantly.
Up to 25% of those surveyed indicated that their most recent service interruption cost more than $100,000 dollars, compared to 2021. On the other hand, 45% of the participants in this study indicated that the cost has risen from 100,000 to one million dollars (47 percent in 2021).
Despite the safeguards that have been taken, interruptions in the energy supply continue to be the most significant contributor to the proper functioning of data centers.
Supply problems were the root cause of 44% of incidents this year. Network issues (14%), system cooling failures (13%), IT systems themselves (13%), and third-party issues such as SaaS providers, hosting, and clouds (8%) were also at the forefront.
Despite the fact that part of the technology industry claims to be committed to its environmental impact, the truth is that a large number of data centers lack the necessary equipment to evaluate their energy efficiency and carbon emissions.
63% of respondents agree that local authorities in their region would require them to disclose environmental data in the next five years; yet only 37% collect and report carbon emissions data (up from 33% in 2021) and only 39% currently report their water consumption (up from 51% in 2021).
In the coming years, new legal restrictions will force operators to address these shortcomings and establish more stringent sustainability monitoring and reporting practices.