The Top 10 Data Center Stories of 2016

Dec. 28, 2016
The Top 10 Data Center Stories of 2016: Here’s a look at the Top 10 stories that attracted the most pageviews this year on Data Center Frontier, ranked in order.

What were the year’s biggest data center stories? As we approach the New Year, it’s a good time to reflect on 2016 and look back at the trends and stories that mattered.

On the trend front, it was a buzzy year for edge computing, the Internet of Things, virtual reality and especially artificial intelligence and machine learning.

But what were the biggest stories? For that, we turn to our audience of data center decision-makers, who voted with their tome and attention to 2016. Here’s a look at the Top 10 stories that attracted the most pageviews this year on Data Center Frontier, ranked in order. The key themes were designs, new chip technology and all things Google.

Microsoft Reveals New Generation 5 Data Center Design (Sept. 29): Microsoft has introduced a new data center design that replaces its IT-PAC server modules with a traditional data hall. Microsoft has overhauled its approach to cooling, and is now using a fan wall to manage airflow.

Intel Unveils FPGA to Accelerate Neural Networks (Nov. 15): Intel today unveiled FPGA-powered hardware targeting the artificial intelligence (AI) market, which has emerged as a focus of investment for the largest data center operators.

Google’s new four-story data center on its cloud campus in Mayes County, Oklahoma. (Photo: Google)

Scaling Up: Google Building Four-Story Data Centers (May 18): The explosive growth of cloud computing has prompted Google to go vertical with its server farms, shifting from single-story designs to four-story data centers. This allows Google to pack more servers into the same real estate footprint.

Amazon Building Custom Chips to Accelerate Cloud Networking (Nov. 30): Amazon Web Services is developing its own customer semiconductor chips to accelerate its cloud computing network. Amazon’s James Hamilton provided an overview at the AWS ReInvent conference.

Uber Scales Up It Data Centers to Support Growth (Jan. 12): Ride-sharing startup Uber has leased large chunks of data center space in three major markets during 2015, expanding the future capacity of the real-time data platform driving its growing global transportation logistics empire.

A custom rack in a Google data center packed with Tensor Processing Unit hardware for machine learning. (Photo: Google)

Google Data Center Footprint Growing in Southeast (Jan. 20): Google is focusing a large chunk of its computing power in the southeastern United States, a data center site selection strategy that is unique among cloud-scale operators.

The Internet of Things May Create A New Breed of Data Centers (May 2): The Internet of Things will lead to new types of data centers in new places, optimized around the needs of machine-to-machine (M2M) workloads and the analytics that mine these oceans of data for business insights.

Bitcoin Mining Boom Prompts Utility to Seek Power Rate Hike (Feb. 2): The bitcoin mining boom has prompted a backlash in central Washington state, where a local power board has proposed a rate hike for high-density power users. Does this matter for data centers?

Google Unveils 48V Data Center Rack, Joins Open Compute (March 9): The hyperscale data center of the future will run on 48 volt DC power, according to Google, which unveiled the custom design powering its servers and joined the Open Compute Project to evangelize this vision to the world.

Infrastructure Masons: Data Centers Can Be Faster, Sexier (Nov.18): Career development and faster networks were key themes discussed this week by Infrastructure Masons, a group that brings together the largest data center builders to chart a course for the cloud economy.

What does 2017 have in store for the data center industry? At Data Center Frontier we focus on how emerging technologies shape the design and location of data centers. So we’ll share insights from industry experts on the road ahead for artificial intelligence, virtual reality and edge computing.

About the Author

Rich Miller

I write about the places where the Internet lives, telling the story of data centers and the people who build them. I founded Data Center Knowledge, the data center industry's leading news site. Now I'm exploring the future of cloud computing at Data Center Frontier.

Getty Images, Courtesy of Schneider Electric

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