“When it comes to IoT, the data centre is essentially the workhorse of this environment – effectively, we are breaking the data centre space down into smaller pieces to bring the processing closer to the consumer, which is how core data centres and edge computing fit into the IoT space.” This is according to Jon Abbott, telecom strategic clients director for EMEA at Vertiv (NYSE: VRT), a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, while speaking at the IoT West Africa Conference and Exhibition.
During the exhibition, which was held in Lagos, Nigeria earlier this year, Abbott presented to delegates on the topic of ‘The Importance of both Core and Edge Data Centre Rollout in Supporting the Development of IoT’, and also shared his views, together with other presenters, during the panel discussion on ‘Advancing Data Centres’ Critical Infrastructures’.
MarketResearch.com notes that the growing transition from traditional to digital ecosystems across industries is creating a huge demand for connectivity, resulting in the growing demand for Internet of Things (IoT) based solutions, adding that: “the continuous improvements in cloud infrastructure and reduced data service costs are fueling the digitalisation of industrial processes.”
In particular, this industry intelligence provider states that the Middle East and Africa IoT market is projected to grow from US$ 33.01 billion in 2022, to US$ 138.27 billion by 2028 – an anticipated increase of over US$ 100 billion in approximately five years.
Speaking briefly on the pervasive and trending topic of artificial intelligence (AI), which complements IoT, Abbott noted: “While data is the new oil, it has to be mined by an engine that can both understand what it’s looking at, and be capable of managing millions of pieces of incremental data. And this is really what the future of AI and machine learning is.”
With net-zero and ESG targets on clients’ minds, there is more pressure than ever for data centres to use less energy and become more efficient and environmentally friendly. This makes it critical for project stakeholders to work together to identify creative solutions to increase productivity and satisfy demands for speedy deployment, while also navigating the challenges brought by the market.
During the panel discussion, Abbott and his fellow panellists discussed the advancement of data centre critical infrastructure and examined its major challenges. On IoT, Abbott noted: “IoT brings the ability to pick up billions of pieces of information, collate and process them for the advantage of efficiency, learning or enhancement in some way. 5G is necessary to connect the sheer volume of IoT devices.”
In this regard, he explained that the growing number of subsea cables at designated coastal venues are integral for the growth of data, powering the internet and with it the IoT.
“All parties involved in sea cable landfalls should function as an ecosystem to best support data center deployments.,” he said, “through regulation, planning, commissioning, construction and so forth, to maximise the successful growth of data and bring its required infrastructure to the continent.”
On infrastructure challenges and digitilisation regulation within Africa, Abbott noted: “Regulation should not hold growth on a leash, otherwise it risks being left behind. At the same time, growth should be sustainable. I would advise regulators to engage more stakeholders in order to best support the growth of data centres and other digital infrastructure. This type of thinking and engagement is integral to assisting countries in their digitalisation journeys,” he concluded.
Visitors to the IoT West Africa conference and exhibition were able to connect with Vertiv experts at its exhibition stand, as well as enjoy a Virtual Reality (VR) tour at the booth, allowing them to experience Vertiv’s data centres in a virtual manner, as well as enter a raffle to win Vertiv™ desktop UPS systems during the three days of the conference.
Vertiv offers customers a VR experience of its large-scale modular data centres, as well as its power and thermal management solutions. Through the power of virtual reality, visitors were able to experience Vertiv’s capabilities, by wearing a headset and using hand controllers to navigate the VR environment, interact with equipment, and watch animations that demonstrate a product’s value and key features.
The exhibition aimed to highlight game-changing technologies, providing a platform for delegates to experience and explore the latest developments and best practices. Today’s advanced solutions will assist businesses in their digital transformation, with live demonstrations at the exhibition – such as Vertiv’s VR applications – showcasing some of the latest benefits of digitalisation.