Five key data center trends will impact operators in the coming year, according to the Uptime Institute. The research firm highlighted the top trends – which include tougher sustainability regulations, supply chain impacts from AI, and liquid cooling adoption – in a report released earlier this month.
Together these conditions are not only driving innovation but also increasing infrastructure complexity, the institute’s researchers said. Data centers will have to balance reliability, efficiency, emerging technologies, and business expansion goals.
“A common thread among these trends is that most of these challenges facing the industry are actually a result of its own ongoing success, seen through continued growth in demand,” said Douglas Donnellan, a research analyst at Uptime Institute, at a recent webinar.
Key to navigating these challenges are tech approaches such as infrastructure automation, standardized designs, economies of scale, cross-domain skill building, and leveraging data analytics. Here are Uptime’s top five trends for 2024:
1. Sustainability regulations get tougher
According to the institute, the top prediction for this year is that the data center sector will continue to use more power, and emit more carbon, as its footprint rapidly grows. As a result, publicly stated net-zero goals and other commitments will become harder and more expensive to maintain. Some companies may have to backtrack on their commitments or increase their investments in energy efficiency to meet tighter reporting and accountability regulations.