Data Center

Hyperscale Pioneers Talk What’s Next: How Long will this Market be the Market?

The demand on data centers has never been higher, and it’s only going to grow. How do we build and run today — for tomorrow? The Data Center Tech Bytes podcast series features big industry conversations that take place in just a small amount of time. Join us as we begin to re-define the data center of the future, and get ready for smarter and more sustainable operations to support greater connectivity and capacity.

In episode nine, Joe Reele, Vice President, Solutions Architect at Schneider Electric speaks with Jim Smith, Managing Director, Hyperscale at Equinix and Adil Attlassy, CTO, Compass Datacenters — whom he calls hyperscale pioneers. The industry has been booming to the point when we’re now starting to see diversification and emerging markets within the segment.

This is a big jump from just 10 years ago when Jim says, “It was a common experience for me to hear ‘when is Amazon going to put you out of business?’ Cloud and data centers were thought of as competitive products then, instead of complementary.”

While cloudification has been increasing at a faster rate, it’s also been a catalyst for growth of the “regular” data center business, according to Jim. However, even as the biggest cloud providers get bigger, they’ve hit a bit of a reach and resource limit in internationals markets, according to Jim, where Equinix finds itself on firm ground. “We’ve been a globally distributed company for 20 years now, so our ability to do things in those markets is generally better than most.”

Investing in Innovation

Compass is making itself extensible in a different way. Adil says they are innovating with modularity. “There is no dipping your toe in the water,” he warns, “You have to be fully committed to this model because it’s highly complex.”

He points to work Compass and Schneider Electric are doing together in this area. It’s helping them go beyond the system and subcomponent level to the unit level and understanding the manufacturing and the supply chain in detail.

Compass’ commitment to what’s next manifests in a chief innovation officer role and dedicated innovation R&D budget.  “We spend a lot of time and capital thinking about innovation, but more importantly, looking at innovation not just from the market level but also developing core expertise,” says Adil.

Listen to the Episode for More Insights

All speakers agree that the hybrid cloud world is here to stay. Adil sees it as in its infancy. Jim’s betting it will evolve over the next 5-8 years until the next big shift. To find out what’s behind their thinking, listen to the full Data Center Tech Bytes episode now.


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