The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), another global energy watchdog group with heavy environmental involvement, released a study demonstrating highlighting the fact that data centers are using massive amounts of energy, and will need 53% more energy than they currently use by 2020. Energy consumption is costing data centers tremendously, but more importantly, their scalability is being called to question in 2016.

Datacenters occupy large amount of space, eat up considerable amounts of energy and tend to overheat the rooms they subjugate. These issues pale in comparison to underlying issues that threaten not only the authenticity of their capacity but signify potential major malfunctions in design flaws that could cost companies millions down the road. We’ve outlined the concerns that datacenters face heading into the next decade, bearing in mind the virtualization factor that many datacenters will be heading towards soon.

Unsustainable Indoor Environment

Datacenters grew in alarming numbers when the ‘dot com’ craze came about in the mid-90’s due to large companies needing to streamline connectivity for business transactions while allowing database creations on multiple platforms to avoid disruption or, even worse, potential corruption within files. As the internet scaled upward, daily operations needed extra processing power since a burgeoning traffic flow grew by the hour. For example, PayPal may have datacenters located in Omaha, Atlanta or Columbus yet only have one corporate location. Larger companies have protected and somewhat unknown locations for their datacenters to protect the veracity of sensitive personal information such as credit card information, demographical personal information and financial figures.

Larger corporations, like their smaller counterparts, face datacenter environmental issues.

While the layman may concern themselves with exterior structural integrity, variable in how the indoor temperature is kept becomes a major mitigating factor in the continuous fight to keep data centers running smoothly. IT magnates need to develop an extremely quantified approach in order to help data centers stay environmentally comfortable since machines do have boiling points, too. Servers which run with laser precision should be refined so they’re not wasting millions of dollars annually on loss of energy; they need to assist in keeping a safe working environment as well.

Companies currently experiencing cash shortfalls overuse inefficient equipment instead of recycling and replacing the servers that are underperforming; while this may work on the interim, no data center can sustain longevity without having a plan to keep server farms constantly renewed.

Higher Scale Security Threats

Harboring concerns of constant hacks and security breaches, IT companies simply battle daily malicious server intrusions by hand, frequently changing their parameters to learn how the uninvited guests got inside. Security issues concern other businesses in current cloud computing platforms and frustrate government entities to no end. Low latency in data connectivity is in high demand yet many of the older servers cannot handle these needs to perfection as needed.

Because there’s been too many credit card data breaches and other high-scale hacks in the last decade, we’ve discovered that disaster recovery is not business continuity where IT security threats are concerned.

Cooling The Engines

Perhaps one of the largest underlying server issues needing to be tackled causes the previous two threats to become more viable – cooling datacenters. The larger servers, responding to the need for higher utilization within daily business operations, are finding it increasingly hard to cool off when put under excruciating strain. The more servers have to work, the more electricity is put to use and inevitably wasted. With servers operating in tight spaces, cooling large rooms full of running servers has become gradually problematic for IT managers to tackle. Take into account both internal and external computer connections to the servers and you’ll understand how several million dollars’ worth of servers can be difficult to contain in cool environments.

Datacenters are undoubtedly the most necessary component of large firms that run hosting, database and other large portals requiring consistent and secure access to sensitive information. As with any facet of business operations that run smoothly, issues also arise as age catches up with processes once thought to be perfected.

Datacenters in the Deep Blue Sea?

What if there was an ingenious hiding spot for datacenters (larger scale operations, of course) that could also draw cooling liquid at the same time? Ideally, the greatest act of ingenuity may include putting a datacenter well below sea level – in the sea.

Putting data centers at ocean depths provides one practical benefit — it reduces the need for air conditioning to keep components from heating up. It also reduces the time to build data centers at a time when demand is growing rapidly and opens up other research possibilities, too.