Clive Partridge, Technical Manager, IT Infrastructure at Rittal, explains how data centre managers can prepare for the 5G roll-out
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.
The 5G mobile communications network is expected to revolutionise the mobile experience for us all. With faster upload speeds, increased mobile capacity and considerably lower latency, page loading times could take just one millisecond.
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.
Coverage won’t be universal to begin with, 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 will 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 and expanding local edge data centres. The advance of edge computing, which 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 realtime applications required to run systems.
Edge data centres remain connected to the cloud, which takes care of any less time-dependent data analyses. Rittal, for example, offers a complete one-stop solution that combines the iNNOVO Cloud and an Edge Data Centre.
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 both for 5G and edge computing processing within the cloud.