CAPRE’s Carolinas Data Center Summit: “5G Will Be the Enabler of the Next Generation of Technology”

CHARLOTTE, NC – It doesn’t matter if you’re in New York, Santa Clara, Dallas, or Ashburn, everyone is talking about 5G. And that’s especially true in the Carolinas, which is primed and prepped to step out into the spotlight once this new technology is widely deployed. That’s why CAPRE’s Carolinas Data Center Summit  featured a panel discussion about what to know and what to expect — “5G Implementation, Its North American Rollout & Impact on Data Centers: The Realities, Challenges and Obstacles for the Industry’s Next Major Milestone.”

Early in the discussion, Moderator Ryan Chappell, Business Development Manager at Rosenberger asked one of his panelists, Tony Rossi, Field Application Engineer at Commscope, for his thoughts on a less visible aspect of the discussion – 5G within data centers.

“Tony, you were talking about IoT and speed earlier, so this question is for you. 5G will definitely increase the speed at the Edge. everyone understands that. And there will be more consumption at the Edge. But does that directly translate back to needing higher data rate speeds within the data center?” he asked.

Not necessarily. Where that Edge is taking place, or where the data center becomes [the Edge], is going to be different for each business use case,“ replied Rossi. “So when you’re looking at, say, augmented reality or autonomous vehicles, that’s going to generate a ton of traffic. But it’s all going to stay relatively local to what’s going on. It’s not practical to send that back through a big exchange. It’s not practical to get there, even with the low latency.”

Dan Rossi, Field Application Engineer, Commscope

But how will the business cases decide to use that internally? “5G is a lot more than just the mobile consumer version of 5G. We know that’s probably 5 years or maybe even a decade out from being completely all over the place,” he stressed.

“But in real time, we are seeing 5G impact the Internet of Things. People can choose to use that however they want. Like business manufacturing is deploying that internally. If we’re looking at a 5G network in a manufacturing environment to take the place of a Wifi or wired solution, because you’ve got low latency and because you’ve got incredible density, the theoretical projection I think is 1000 devices or connections per square meter. Which is about a 200 fold increase over 4G, and it’s definitely an increase over Wifi.”

According to Rossi, that is going to create a lot of processing and will require a lot of speed. “And it will need to be in a core data center,” he explained. “If you’re managing a manufacturing plant or say, an airport, or maybe even a public safety system, that is definitely going to generate a lot of traffic through the data center, and you’re going to need that 40-gig or more connection in the backbone to the core applications there.”

“So again, 5G means a lot more. I think it’s going to soon be similar to the way that we’re talking about the Cloud. The Cloud, we thought knew what it was 10 years ago,” concluded Rossi. “It was simple. We could connect to our data off-site, someone else could do it for us. But it means so many things today. People use it in so many ways. People have the Fog now. 5G is going to be something like that, because it’s going to mean something completely different. It’s the enabler for the next generation of technology.”

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