A slew of new technologies set to either be released or to go mainstream over the next decade will transform the data centre, a transformation that will go hand-in-hand with a wider revolution in computing that will demand faster and more interactive data centres.
According to Richard Curran, director of enterprise marketing at Intel EMEA, an increasingly urbanised world will require quicker, more responsive and more interactive data centres to cope with the colossal volumes of data generated by "smart grids", "smart homes", sensors embedded almost everywhere and self-driving vehicles, among other developments.
Speaking at the Computing Data Centre Summit, Curran said: "We are looking at the capabilities of 'smart grids' and 'smart homes' and new services being available. Cars, intelligent cars and transportation generally will actually change and offer a much better service as a result of new intelligent capabilities in years to come."
Technologies that Intel is actively researching and expecting to be incorporated into devices in the foreseeable future include gesture recognition, voice, augmented reality, wireless charging and facial analysis, among other things, said Curran.
"Those devices will either be embedded or very much context aware, whether you're in a store or at home, and also collecting data and helping you and your suppliers give you a better service," he added.
The collection and manipulation of all that data will require major advances in data centre technology and capabilities. Indeed, some 90 per cent of the world's data was created in just the past two years - and this is just the start of the "data revolution".
The data centre requirements of academia, life sciences and financial services will grow exponentially as a result, claimed Curran, and other sectors will not be far behind. And all the data generated will need to be analysed and stored at some level.
For example, modern passenger aircraft generate 1TB of data from sensors every hour. "We're looking at the ability to collect the right kind of information and to send that information to a source that can analyse that information.
"That makes it possible to predict better quality, better service capabilities of the plane and also to predict where these planes need to be so that airlines can service them as quickly as possible because they only make money when they are in the air," said Curran.
In future, in the internet-of-things, it won't just be Airbus and Boeing planes that have such capabilities built in - it will be everything, and all the data generated will need to be rapidly analysed, categorised, stored and equally rapidly retrieved. That will require data centre capabilities exponentially greater than anything that exists today.