What would life be like inside a Digital Centre? DigitalCentre2020 took a trip into the future, to the year 2020, to talk to a Digital Centre manager.
“Back in 2015, when I was working in a data centre, I could see how things were developing. The growth in data was placing incredible demands on our infrastructure. End-users expected – deserved – real-time customer services, from any device. Enabling innovation, ensuring interoperability, maintaining security… it was a big challenge. Then my manager found the DigitalCentre2020 website, and read about the Digital Centre journey. We signed up, and things went from there. We’ve now established partnerships with some of the biggest names in tech – and we’re sharing infrastructure, platforms and resources.”
What about speed?
“Fibre optic is now the norm, from business to consumer markets, but so many companies are using the internet to provide services and connect to applications. Which places great demand on networks and bandwidth. Then there’s the Internet of Things (IoT). We’re now approaching 25 million connected ‘things’, as predicted by Gartner way back in 2014. This year, China invested $80 billion in the IoT. Back in 2015 we’d have been thinking, ‘this sort of news is great, but how will we manage all these connections?’ It was clear even then that the internet was going to become a network of connected ‘things’, rather than a network of connected computers and mobile devices.”
How does the Digital Centre cope with this increase?
“In the Digital Centre, businesses bypass the internet to connect directly to partners. This means they can deliver services faster, and more securely. There’s no need to share public networks. That was a big reason for us to go for a Digital Centre solution. We wanted our own digital ecosystem, able to withstand any spikes in demand. And for security. I remember the launch of Apple Pay. Paying for things with a phone must have seemed like a novelty then. Now it’s normal. But only because data can be held securely, and called upon for real-time transactions. Holding it in a Digital Centre makes it all possible.”
Does this mean that in 2020 there are more data centres?
“Two years ago, in 2018, the IoT was generating 400 zettabytes of data every year. That was putting a lot of pressure on existing data centre infrastructure. But the Digital Centre offered Software-Defined Networking and Content Delivery Networks, which virtualised much of the required infrastructure. Businesses were free to grow and scale without worrying about running out of real estate.”
Having learnt about the Digital Centre, it was time to go back to 2015. We headed out to the Digital Centre carpark, where a car drove up to us. There was no driver inside. What was this? Of course… self-driving cars. “These are nothing new in Sweden. They’ve had self-driving cars since 2017.”
We headed down the main road, where a steady stream of cars smoothly made their way across the many intersections. There was never more than a few cars queuing at traffic lights, even though we were in rush hour. “These smart street lights are great aren’t they?” They adapt in real-time. Five years ago I used to work in London, where I worked out I spent around 100 hours each year stuck in traffic. Imagine that now!”