IoT will create new data centre demands, Capacity conference hears

06 July 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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The internet of things will create a need for a tight mesh of data centres to deliver low latency for autonomous vehicles, according to speakers at this week’s Capacity Europe East.

“We’ll see a demand for nodes every 50km, every 100km, placed on crossroads, on highways, next to big industrial areas,” said DE-CIX’s CEO, Ivo Ivanov. “The internet of things will need services at zero latency.”

Even without the IoT, the industry will need major data centres every 1,000km is so far underserved areas in eastern Europe, as demand for content increases, said Sieste Lettinga, Azertelecom’s director international, in the same conference panel.

“There’s an explosion of data – between 80 and 100% a year,” added Lettinga. “There’s no end to it. You have to make sure the backbones can carry so much traffic. There’s a massive amount of work to be done. We have to make that work.”

Peter Ziegelwanger, head of international wholesale at A1 Telekom Austria Group, agreed: “In European Union countries, due to roaming deregulation that took place last year, there has been a tremendous increase in data – about 400-600%.”

All three were taking part in the keynote panel – now available on video – at the conference in Sofia.

“We see the need for high quality services like high definition, 4K video streaming,” said Ivanov. “The gaming industry is extremely demanding and the cloud industry is demanding about latency.”

Global sports events like this month’s World Cup are not contributing to high peak demands, he added: updates from “companies like Apple, Samsung, Google and others” are more to blame, he said. “If they do a software upgrade we see a huge traffic peak.”

But Lettinga said that broadcasters are increasing their requirements for outside broadcast events. “We’re doing the RFPs for the European Cup in 2020,” he said. “They’re going from 10G [for past events] to a few hundred G in the new RFPs. It’s fantastic. I love it.”

Ziegelwanger agreed: “We see it on the backbone side, on the wholesale side. We see on Formula 1 year on year that the capacity increases. It is needed to provide a lot of camera positions in the highest resolution.”

Lettinga offered an interesting titbit about data demand in Azerbaijan. Peak demand on Azertelecom’s network is not created by software downloads, but by video streaming – and not in the middle of the evening. “If you look at peak traffic, in Azerbaijan this is at 11pm. I don’t know exactly what they’re doing but the peak is not during the day.”