Based in Seattle, Uptime Institute is the world’s foremost digital infrastructure authority. Their tier standard is the IT industry’s most adopted global guidelines for the proper design, construction and operation of data centers. The group also publishes an annual data center survey, the largest and most comprehensive in the digital critical infrastructure space.

Below are some takeaways from Uptime Institute’s 2021 Global Data Center Survey:

  • Overall, the data center industry is enjoying widespread growth around the globe. Operators are taking different approaches to a range of challenges, such as improving resiliency and sustainability, maintaining staff levels, using the cloud, or building out edge data center capacity.

Edge Data Centers

As operators prepare for future capacity requirements, many expect to build or operate more edge data centers to process data closer to local users and local devices. Edge site demand is driven by internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads, as well as deployments of 5G networks.

The next generation of edge buildout is in the early days, and expectations are likely to change as more edge workloads are deployed. Shared facilities may play a larger role as demand grows. In addition to improved business flexibility and low capital investment, the benefits of shared edge sites include reduced complexity compared with managing multiple, geographically dispersed sites.

Rack Density Levels Creep Up

Rack density is rising but remains relatively moderate and typically well under 10 kilowatts (kW) per IT cabinet. More than one-third of respondents stated their most common rack density is currently below 5 kW, while nearly half reported between 5 and 10 kW. The survey results indicate a shift toward more powerful racks, between 5 and 10 kW, in facilities larger than 3 megawatts (MW) of maximum IT load supported, compared with smaller sites.

Lithium-ion Batteries

UPS systems are expensive to maintain, and lead-acid batteries are a significant pain point for many operators. Users report problems with the space they take up, cooling and maintenance requirements, and a relatively short lifespan (four to six years, depending on cell design and operating conditions).

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery use in centralized uninterruptible power systems is now common. Batteries using Li-ion chemistries are favored for displacing lead-acid technology, thanks to fast-dropping costs and ever improving performance characteristics. They are also suitable for novel uses, such as rapid load shedding in response to peaks in electricity pricing throughout the day.

Uptime Institute’s Global Data Center Survey, now in its eleventh year, is conducted annually. The report includes responses from more than 800 data center owners and operators at the world’s largest IT organizations. It also includes insights from more than 550 data center suppliers, designers and advisors from around the world.

“The 2021 survey results highlight continued growth within the sector and the many complex challenges data center owners and operators are facing 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 overall performance. That’s why organizations must continue to carefully reassess their mission-critical digital infrastructure and operations to minimize service delivery risk and maximize resiliency.”

Recovery Point’s Tier III Data Centers

Recovery Point is proud to be one of the few data centers in the United States to earn multiple certifications from Uptime Institute for Tier III Constructed Facility infrastructure. Tier Certification of Constructed Facility certification ensures the site infrastructure solutions, as represented in the design documents, have actually been tested by the Uptime Institute to prove compliance.

With concurrent maintainability built into all of our electrical and mechanical systems, Recovery Point’s carrier neutral sites are purpose-built to mitigate risks associated with any single point of failure and to operate for extended periods of time without access to municipal utilities.

Come take a data center tour. Recovery Point’s data centers are in Montgomery County, Maryland, an hour north of Washington, D.C. Click here to schedule your tour.

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