By Clive Partridge, Rittal’s Technical Manager, IT Infrastructure
The imminent rollout of the 5G mobile
communications network and the significant increase in data that will need to
be processed, stored and distributed is likely to have a significant impact on
the data centre sector. So what should data centre operators be doing to prepare for it?
The 5G mobile communications network is shortly going to be rolled
out and it is expected to revolutionise the mobile experience for us all by
matching and surpassing the wireless network currently on offer.
5G combines faster upload speeds and increased mobile capacity
with considerably lower latency, reducing page loading times to a just one
5G will also help support the expansion of IoT-enabled devices,
facilitating the use of wireless sensors in the home, and in factories and
warehouses. It will direct industrial robots and enable
machine-to-machine communication, not to mention autonomous vehicles, even if
these are still on the horizon.
Coverage won’t be universal to begin with. The roll-out will
probably start in main conurbations, followed by rural areas. But data
centre operators still need to be prepared for what’s likely to be a tidal wave
of data that will now be processed/stored in the cloud. Added to which,
data centres also have to support the low latency delivered by 5G to maximise
the potential of this very agile service and provide users with instant access
to a constant data stream.
Some of these pressures can be eased by decentralising IT
infrastructure through the expansion of local edge data centres. The advance of
edge computing, which essentially provides computing resources at the
perimeter of a given network, allows data to be processed at source, taking
advantage of low latency while supporting the real-time applications required
to run systems.
Edge data centres remain connected to the cloud, however, and it
is cloud which then takes care of any less time-dependent data analyses.
Rittal, for example, offers a complete one-stop solution, in the iNNOVO Cloud
and its own Edge Data Centre; a combination which is aimed at enterprises of
Not surprisingly, many data centre owners have already anticipated
the arrival of 5G. Those that haven’t may need hardware refreshes or
upgrades to deliver the low latency and bandwidth needed for both 5G and edge
computing processing within the cloud.
It’s worth noting that the general trend towards standardisation
is helpful in this regard, and should help deliver both the fast deployment
time and scalability which the market is now demanding from data centres.