It’s been a strange and extraordinary year. In many ways, the main themes in our coverage at Data Center Frontier were similar to past years – hyperscale, edge, energy, connectivity – only amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because let’s face it, these things were more important than ever in 2020. The essential nature of the Internet was writ large during the pandemic, as data centers kept us all connected for work, school and family time. For a detailed look at the pandemic’s impact on data center demand, supply and construction, see our resource page, The COVID-19 Crisis and the Data Center Industry.

Our list of Data Center Frontier’s Top 10 stories of 2020 reflects the many ways the data center industry was on the job in 2020 – building bigger and faster, extending services to new places, while optimizing everything and everywhere.

Here are the 10 most popular stories on Data Center Frontier in 2020, ranked by page views:

The Eight Trends That Will Shape the Data Center Industry in 2020: What’s ahead for the data center industry? Our annual forecast is always our best-read feature at DCF, and that held true again this year as we identified eight themes that would shape the data center business in 2020. The big theme: data, data everywhere.

Inside A Google Data Center: 2020 Version: I love a good data center tour, and it’s clear most of you do as well. This year Google released an updated video tour of one of its data center campuses, the latest in a series of public glimpses of the technology and security powering its global fleet of data centers.

Microsoft Plans to Stop Using Diesel Generators by 2030: As the consequences of climate change become more real, cloud builders are accelerating their sustainability initiatives. This will continue to have large consequences, as seen in Microsoft’s plans to eliminate its reliance on diesel fuel, a decision that has major implications for data centers that use diesel-powered generators for backup power.

AWS Designs In-Rack Micro UPS Units for a More Efficient Cloud: The optimization of hyperscale computing continues. Amazon Web Services has begun designing its own rack-level Micro UPS units for its data centers, eliminating a centralized UPS in a move that will dramatically improve the power efficiency of its cloud computing operations.

Internet Exchanges See Record Levels of Network Traffic: The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic were an enormous  event for network traffic, and perhaps nowhere moreso than at   Internet exchanges, which saw record traffic as the spread of the Coronavirus boosted remote work and online education – as well as game downloads.

Dark Fiber is a Hot Commodity for Data Center Investors: All that front-end traffic requires infrastructure on the back end  That’s why dark fiber is a hot commodity, as cloud computing platforms seek more network capacity to deliver data across their data center campuses. That’s why investment firms with data center holdings have been acquiring dark fiber specialists.

Edge Computing and Why it Matters, in 2020 and Beyond: In 2020, edge computing entered a key transition phase, as an emerging ecosystem confronted the challenges and opportunities of a world transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Much more to come on this in 2021 …

American Tower Begins Deploying Edge Data Centers at Towers: The entry of new players in the data center space is both inevitable and disruptive. Consider American Tower. The huge tower REIT has begun deploying a network of small modular data centers at its telecom tower properties, commencing a new phase in the giant telecom infrastructure company’s expansion into edge computing.

Dense network cabling inside an Equinix interconnection facility in Amsterdam. (Photo: Equinix)

Dense network cabling inside an Equinix interconnection facility in Amsterdam. (Photo: Equinix)

Beyond Colo: Equinix Repositions as Digital Infrastructure Company: The industry’s biggest players continue to refine their strategies and vision. Equinix, the world’s largest provider of colocation and interconnection services, provider, is repositioning itself as “the world’s digital infrastructure company.” It’s the latest wrinkle in the language of the data center industry.

Google Will ‘Recalibrate’ Spending on Data Centers, Citing COVID-19: The uncertain environment of the early days of  the pandemic prompted Google to review its spending on data center infrastructure as part of cost-cutting related to COVID-19. It wound up being a record year for hyperscale capital spending.

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