Data Centres and 5G: Predicitions & Speculations

As touched upon in a previous post, 5G is going to change the way in which we consume data. 5G is predicted to provide at least 1GB/s of download speed (with up to 10GB/s in some areas), which in comparison to its older brother 4G (who can only manage up to 15MB/s) is a quantum leap in capability.

Latency issues will also be a thing of the past, with 5G providing a response rate of 1 millisecond in comparison to the 50 millisecond 4G offers.

You can appreciate the point. 5G is going to provide a user experience like none of its predecessors. But with this unprecedented increase in speed, power and latency, how will modern data centres adapt?

As you’ve probably established, the rate of 5G is going to set the transfer of data into overdrive, leading to the need for increased processing, higher storage capacity and more efficient monitoring within the context of hardware management, so having your data fed to one place may become counter efficient due time, especially if this data needs to be categorised and quantified.

Many speculate that edge computing and data centres will become a necessity to combat the vast amounts of data that will be flooding modern servers, allowing for it to be fed into different streams across the network. To further supplement, commented that “edge computing would theoretically send the data to local macro towers and small cells to be computed nearer to the user and sent back as close to real-time as possible, significantly reducing latency.

As a result, smaller and more centralised data centres will likely take the lead. Additionally, due to the nature of 5G being heavily dependant on mobile networks, efficient data centres will want to be situated as close as possible to network towers to reap the best rates of latency, therefore locations that may not have been previously suitable, may become ideal if you are looking for the best rates.

Not to say that larger data centres and colos will die out, but it is likely that with higher demand for processing that more centralised data centres will be utilised by businesses looking to collate specific streams of data. It may also become more cost efficient to run a smaller rack data centre due to the increase in energy required by 5G that will vastly increase the cost to run a large centre… but this is speculation at this point. 5G isn’t set to make its way into industry until at least 2020, so you have some time to prepare and adapt for the drastic changes that are coming our way.

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