AI makes it possible to process and interpret huge quantities of data far more quickly and efficiently, potentially unlocking a whole host of new insights. In this article, we’ll take a look at what AI is doing for data centers and why you need to make the most effective possible use of this transformative technology.
The technological revolution of recent decades has made a deep impression on all kinds of businesses. Affecting everything from contact centre productivity to the delivery of healthcare, there’s scarcely a sector of the economy that hasn’t been radically transformed. Now comes the next phase of this technological revolution – artificial intelligence (AI).
Having been a staple of science fiction since the 1950s, AI is now a real-life phenomenon. As a result, we stand on the precipice of a far-reaching digital transformation. One area where AI is already having seismic effects is that of the retention and use of data.
AI makes it possible to process and interpret huge quantities of data far more quickly and efficiently, potentially unlocking a whole host of new insights. These new insights could in turn dramatically reshape the global economy and indeed society itself. It’s no surprise, therefore, that data centers are in the vanguard of the dramatic changes heralded by AI and the cloud.
Furthermore, it seems guaranteed that data centers which don’t adapt to the AI revolution will fall rapidly behind their more flexible competitors. In fact, there are strong indications that this is already happening. Data center clients are coming to expect the kind of data processing and storage capacities that only AI makes possible. It is therefore incumbent upon data center operators to meet the rising expectations of their customers. If they aren’t doing so already, they don’t have much time left to adapt.
The advent of AI is having other effects on data centers too. Those include reducing carbon emissions and freeing up resources – both human and financial – for more efficient use elsewhere. Here, we’ll take a look at what AI is doing for data centers and why you need to make the most effective possible use of this transformative technology.
AI and carbon emissions
Given the urgency of tackling climate change, everyone is expected to do their bit to cut emissions. Data centers, it has to be said, use large quantities of energy, and thus produce substantial amounts of carbon. It’s also important to note that this inevitably racks up large-scale financial costs.
It’s essential, in the interests of both cost-cutting and environmental sustainability, that data center operators take action to enhance their energy efficiency. Artificial intelligence is helping data centers to adapt to these demands, and to embrace a new, low-carbon future.
Data center cooling systems already consume enormous amounts of energy. As data traffic requirements continue to increase, there is a danger that energy consumption will likewise grow even further. However, AI’s data-driven approach is allowing for much more efficient energy usage.
For example, algorithms can be used to assess the performance of cooling equipment, test flow rates, and collect data. AI can thereby identify and resolve energy inefficiencies. A project carried out by DeepMind in 2016 found that such changes cut Google’s data center cooling bill by a massive 40 percent.
Following on from the previous point, AI is being used to enhance overall data center efficiency, as well as energy efficiency. Through the deployment of AI, data centers are automating key tasks and freeing up valuable resources.
Distribution of workloads is, of course, one of the most fundamental tasks for data centers. Now, forward-thinking centers are using predictive management tools to allocate workloads. That means human managers don’t need to oversee the process themselves and can do other things.
Previously, engineers would have had to design algorithms for balancing server workload, but now load-balancing algorithms are increasingly powered by AI. Alongside saving on human labor, the crucial advantage of these AI-powered algorithms is that they have the capacity to analyze and learn from the data they process.
Such capacity for learning enables the algorithms to cut processing times, while also determining and neutering potential risks more effectively. Introducing AI to data centers, therefore, has the potential to deliver major improvements to efficiency.
AI can also help data centers to manage staffing levels more effectively and prevent staffing shortages. The increasing complexity of cloud computing technology has placed an additional burden on data centers. That’s one of the things that does leave them prone to workforce issues. However, as we have noted, AI makes it possible to automate some data center management functions.
This makes oversight simpler, and reduces the pressure on data center staff. Other cloud-based technologies, such as video conferencing, can also improve internal communications, enhance resource management, and allow members of your team to stay in touch even when working remotely.
Enhancing reliability and security
The technical complexity of data centers means that outages are an ever-present danger. Data center outages can cause massive disruption, but are often difficult to predict (trying to do so manually is labor-intensive and not always reliable). AI can greatly simplify this task by using advanced predictive analytics to closely monitor server performance and foresee looming outages.
Furthermore, having identified network congestion and potential downtime, AI can then set about proactively addressing the issues by autonomously devising mitigation strategies. This helps to minimize any disruption to your operations.
Another crucial consideration is data security. Obviously, this is a major consideration for clients – we’re all security-conscious these days. New threats in the form of hackers, malware, and viruses are appearing all the time. Data centers must be as prepared as possible. AI can block many of these threats at source by analyzing traffic in fine detail, picking up on deviant behavior, and raising the alarm.
Of course, security threats are so numerous that there will always be some vulnerabilities present. But AI is already greatly enhancing data center security, providing customers with additional protection and valuable reassurance.
You can give clients a closer insight into what you’re doing to protect their data through screen share technology, for example. Providing proactive customer support is essential for data centers. Through flexibility and transparency, you can provide your clients with the reassurance they’re seeking. This is key to building long-lasting, trusting client relationships that endure over the long term
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