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A self-driving data center is a data center that is highly automated to the point where it requires little human intervention to maintain. The term is used by analogy with self-driving cars that can navigate by themselves. The term is described as a theoretical goal, as most data centers still require system administrators.
A self-driving data center is described as an eventual goal for data centers of the future to reach. Building a self-driving data center involves using automation and machine learning to automate many data center maintenance tasks to the point where data centers can run without human intervention.
The move toward automation has been helped with the emergence of solid-state storage and virtualization/containerization of servers. Since more servers are managed with software instead of hardware, this makes them an easy target for automation. A self-driving data center could save on labor costs and increase reliability.