Vertiv Predicts 2024 Data Center Trends: AI, Sustainability at Forefront

Vertiv data center solutions

By 2024, the data center sector will be heavily impacted by the pressing need for artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities as well as the concurrent need to cut prices, energy usage, and greenhouse gas emissions. Vertiv forecasted two years ago that AI will proliferate, and the infrastructure and sustainability problems that come with AI-capable computing are now being felt across the industry and in Vertiv’s 2024 data center trends projection.

“AI and its downstream impact on data center densities and power demands have become the dominant storylines in our industry,” said Vertiv CEO Giordano (Gio) Albertazzi. “Finding ways to help customers both support the demand for AI and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is a significant challenge requiring new collaborations between data centers, chip and server manufacturers, and infrastructure providers.”

Experts at Vertiv predict the following trends will rule the data center ecosystem in 2024:

  1. AI establishes the parameters for retrofit and new construction – Organizations are under pressure to alter their operations significantly due to the growing need for artificial intelligence in many applications. Many legacy facilities lack the necessary infrastructure for liquid cooling, making them ill-suited to enable the broad adoption of the high-density computing needed for artificial intelligence. In the upcoming year, an increasing number of organizations will come to the realization that taking half-measures is not enough and will instead choose large-scale retrofits that completely change their power and cooling infrastructure or new construction that increasingly features prefabricated modular solutions that shorten deployment timelines. The use of environmentally friendly technologies and techniques, such as liquid cooling for AI servers in conjunction with air-cooled thermal management to support the overall data center area, is made possible by these noteworthy advancements.
  2. Extending the search for substitutes for energy storage – Innovative methods and technologies for energy storage have shown capable of shrewdly integrating with the grid and meeting a critical goal: lowering the number of generator starts. Battery energy storage systems (BESS) may be easily integrated with alternative energy sources, such solar or fuel cells, to accommodate extended runtime needs by changing the load as needed and for longer periods of time. This lessens the need for generators and their negative effects on the environment. In 2024, BESS installations will become more prevalent. They will ultimately adapt to ‘bring your own power’ (BYOP) models, providing the capacity, dependability, and affordability required to meet demand driven by artificial intelligence.
  3. Businesses value adaptability – Businesses with corporate data centers are expected to diversify their investments and deployment tactics, while cloud and colocation providers actively seek out new installations to fulfill demand. AI is a component in this situation as businesses struggle to satisfy sustainability goals while enabling and using technology. Companies could start looking to on-premise capacity to enable proprietary AI, and AI tailwinds might affect the adoption of edge applications. According to Vertiv, it is reasonable to anticipate that many businesses would give priority to servicing and maintenance together with small additional investments, mostly relying on prefabricated modular solutions, in order to prolong the life of legacy equipment. In addition to boosting energy efficiency, these services may optimize operation to free up capacity in computer systems that are at capacity. Likewise, by prolonging the life of current servers rather than replacing and discarding them, corporations may lower their Scope 3 carbon emissions, stated Vertiv.
  4. Security obstacles facing the cloud migration race – Global expenditure on public cloud services is expected to rise by 20.4% in 2024, according to Gartner, and the widespread cloud migration is not showing any signs of slowing down. In order to meet the demand for AI and high speed computing, cloud providers are under pressure to expand their capacity fast. To make this possible, they will continue to look to colocation partners worldwide. Security is critical for cloud clients who are transferring an increasing quantity of data offshore; in fact, 80% of CIOs aim to increase their expenditure on cyber/information security in 2024, according to Gartner. As attempts to standardize continue, differing national and regional data security standards may cause significant security concerns.