The pandemic left a lasting effect on the world, including the internet; Find out how
- by Antoniy Yushkevych
- in IT News
COVID-19 has struck the world unexpectedly and completely changed the daily lives of people all around the world. While the majority of the world’s workforce is switching to working remotely, datacenters are more crucial than ever for this unprecedented situation.
While most countries implement social distancing and stay-at-home orders, all students, be it school or university, are having classes conducted over video conferencing software. The same goes for most people that have a regular office job.
In the midst of all this, most people are also trying their best to limit all of their social interactions to video calls and instant messaging. As you can imagine, the strain this puts on the backbone of the internet, the datacenters where the servers on which all of the web’s sites are hosted.
How COVID-19 Impacted the IT World
The pandemic has caused a dramatic spike in the utilization of server compute, storage, and network resources, and data center managers are tasked with maintaining uptime and availability to continue providing the services the world desperately needs at this time.
- Microsoft saw a 775% increase in the use of cloud services in Italy and robust increases in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders.
- Google’s Hangouts Meet had day-over-day growth consistently reach 60% in March and its daily usage reached 25 times more than January’s levels.
- Facebook saw time in group calling increase by over 1,000% month-over-month in Italy, and total messaging increased by more than 50% in many countries hit hardest by the virus.
- Verizon reported that online gaming traffic on their network surged by an unprecedented 75% in one week.
- AT&T’s ANIRA VPN saw customer connections surge by roughly 700%.
- Zoom reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants, a dramatic increase over its previous record of 10 million.
- Netflix’s users are increasing—57% in Italy and 34% in Spain—and the company has had to reduce video streaming bit rates in Europe to be able to continue service to its larger audience.
- Walmart’s Grocery app experienced a 460% growth in average daily downloads as consumers flock to online shopping services.
- Akamai, a major content-delivery, cloud, and service provider, reported a 50% increase in internet traffic compared to average.
- The world’s internet exchanges are seeing record levels of network traffic. DE-CIX Frankfurt reported a new all-time peak of more than 9.1 Terabits per second.
- Increased work from home is driving historic bandwidth consumption. US consumption during business hours is up 41% and users are each expected to consume 460 GB per month going forward.
Data Center Trends Throughout the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic will create or accelerate a number of trends for enterprise data centers. Some likely outcomes in the short term include:
- Increased colocation to avoid costly constructions and hardware installations.
- More incremental projects to add critical power capacity at existing facilities.
- Cloud migrations to reduce upfront hardware expenses and provide fast speed-to-market.
- Restricted access to facilities that strikes a balance between public health concerns and urgent on-site visit needs.
- Increased use of third-party managed services for hardware installations, network optimization, edge deployments, and security due to access restrictions.
- Additional purchases of circuits from telecoms and interconnection-focused colocation providers to improve network utilization.
- Limited layoffs due to the mission-critical nature of data center operations and the already low staff levels.
The pandemic has been a defining moment for the cloud. For many organizations, a digital transformation that was expected to take years has been compressed into a matter of days and weeks. Entire industries are being reset, and digital infrastructure is front and center in the transition. The data center industry must adjust to a complex new reality. Demand for cloud services will soar in most sectors and colocation facilities have to be ready for it.