As the tech revolution rolls on, the need to store information securely has increased exponentially. For this reason, larger and more sophisticated data centers are required to handle and process this data effectively. How will data centers cope with the vast amounts of data we are now using, and how will artificial intelligence (AI) help or hinder them?
Running a data center is an expensive process, and when you factor in the cost of hiring experts to maintain them, not to mention general running costs, the outlay can be pretty astronomical. One way that companies have found to offset this is by utilising artificial intelligence. This offers the opportunity of monitoring and maintaining data centers in a way which humans simply can’t. With every new leap in data storage and the use of AI comes obvious benefits and also inevitable drawbacks. Let’s examine them in more detail.
They Can Reduce Costs and Waste
As mentioned, the cost of running data centers has become incredibly expensive with a recent study by Gartner, the research and advisory company, suggesting that over 30% of data centers not equipped with AI will no longer be financially viable by the end of 2020.
The economic gain from AI not only comes from a reduction in staff but also a reduction in energy consumption. Often large amounts of power are taken up just by the need to cool the increasingly complex and high-performing servers. This has led to tech companies such as Huawei creating AI management solutions like iCooling. This technology works effectively due to its technique of analyzing previously stored data about the servers’ energy consumption to create an algorithm which provides optimum measures that are communicated to the control systems.
Huawei has reported an 8% reduction in electricity consumption in one of its major centers in China, saving a small fortune. Additionally, since Google implemented its Deepmind AI, it has reported a sizeable 40% reduction in its centers’ cooling system’s energy output. This underlines not only a cost-saving measure but also an environmentally sound one too.
AI Provides Proactive Protection to Reduce Downtime
Until recently, when a data center experienced a fault, it would have a team of engineers on high alert to respond to an issue with overheating or malfunction. Even with experts trying to predict faults which may occur, this could be a time-consuming and complex task, regularly leading to incredibly costly and reputation-damaging downtime. AI can provide real time information on the server’s performance and potential failures – much in the way a modern car does while you’re using it – analyzing patterns and predicting faults before they occur. In this way, AI can implement its own strategies to prevent outages autonomously or provide detailed information to a maintenance team on where the problem lies.
Another area where AI will remain one step ahead of the game compared to humans is cyber security. In a similar sense to the way in which they prevent faults, AI can proactively detect suspicious user activity and eliminate the threat. For humans this is a laborious and time consuming task but for AI it is not only able to look at internal problems as well as external, it can also provide solutions to issues that arise. The ever evolving nature of AI’s understanding of malware threats means it can stay ahead of the game in anticipating and eliminating cyber attacks which would otherwise be left exposed by human error. It can also do all of this much more quickly than humans could ever do.
AI May Not Be the Best Solution
The more AI that is used across nations and the planet, the greater the need for data. This is predicted to cause the carbon footprint of data centers to treble within the next decade. The advances in AI have the potential to cause a major environmental problem due to it contributing heavily to an ever increasing demand for data centers to be used. One way to offset this is for companies to consider using cloud services, such as those provided by Sanvada. Cloud storage provides companies with remote data storage via the internet rather on a physical property. This has far-reaching consequences, as continued cloud storage has been proven to be far more energy efficient than companies adopting their own in house data centers or even outsourcing to physical sites.
Another problem is that data center managers are reluctant to cede total control to AI, and whilst AI reduces personnel demand, it doesn’t offset the sizeable shortage in skilled IT workers. Managers still need operators to oversee the work and will be unwilling to allow AI to liaise with customers and expect them to personalize the data storage. Additionally, the data for creating the algorithms AI uses to work effectively needs to be supervised and categorised by humans so that the AI can learn and develop. AI needs to work in tandem with human ingenuity in order to work effectively, so the skills gap needs to be plugged promptly.
It is impossible to dismiss the benefits of AI in data centers and the future developments it will bring, however this is sometimes a sense that it’s an attempt to bail out a sinking ship. Advantages need to be cautioned against an exponential rise in the need for data AI that improved and expanded technology will bring, and the environmental impact this will have. Small and medium-sized companies need to consider pivoting away from physical data storage options and consider cloud storage if they don’t want a costly outlay and sizeable carbon footprint. With this in mind though, data centers remain a necessity for the time being, and the improvements which have come about through AI in efficiency, energy consumption and security are good news for businesses that still put their faith in physical data centers.
SANVADA™ LLC is a BBB and VOSB Certified high-tech cloud consulting business that delivers products and services to consumers and businesses alike. Our products and services include: proprietary software solutions such as VPN and VPS capabilities, cyber security, and AWS Workspaces for developers. We offer data migration and automation as well as proof-of-concepts (PoC), and prototyping software development. We are the first and last when it comes to monitoring your data for any vulnerabilities or viruses. To learn more, visit us here!