Hyperscalers need speed, global reach to satisfy AI demand

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As the need increases for artificial intelligence (AI), cloud applications, and edge computing solutions, so does the demand for data center capacity. These trends put growing pressure on Internet Giants and colocation providers to build new data centers quickly, efficiently, and sustainably wherever customers require them around the world.

With global data center growth predicted at 12.5% annually, hyperscalers need reliable partners to support them through the full lifecycle – from design and build to operate and maintain – with adaptive, efficient, and sustainable infrastructure solutions. Preferably, the partner has global reach and the knowledge to navigate local regulatory requirements, resolve supply chain issues, and mobilize the workforce needed for each project.

AI

AI explosion

In recent years, enterprise demand for cloud applications and edge solutions has driven data center expansion. But that demand will pale in comparison to the need created by the explosion of AI applications. In 2024, organizations are moving from the AI experimentation phase to critical use cases that will shape the future of their business.

AI applications have a near-insatiable hunger for compute and electrical power, placing significant pressure on hyperscalers to deliver more capacity. This impacts IT equipment density, so hyperscalers require high-efficiency hardware and resilient power and cooling systems. Sustainability is also a priority, which drives the need for improved energy efficiency through renewable power sources. Of course, renewables help reduce carbon emissions as well as costs.

Need for speed

Enterprises want to accelerate AI implementation, but market dynamics such as supply chain interruptions and long approval cycles for construction projects frequently slow down data center construction. What used to take 10 to 14 months now takes 18 to 24 months, but data center operators don’t have the luxury of additional time because demand is so high.

Enterprises view AI as a strategic advantage that complements investments they have already made – or are still making – in cloud and edge infrastructure. Customers want added capacity for all their compute needs, and they want it now. Adding to the urgency for hyperscalers is the reality that the current data center capacity in the U.S. is close to full.

At the scale and velocity that hyperscalers are adding capacity, standardization is absolutely critical. The right partner should be working with hyperscalers to customize and standardize their design for construction and operation.

Prefabricated modular data centers are also a practical option when speed and standardization is required, making it possible to deliver a full data center solution once a building is ready. These solutions also simplify edge deployments, improving speed to market for organizations with an urgent need to deploy in new locations.

In addition, an experienced partner can help hyperscalers shorten lead times involved in setting up new data centers by acquiring necessary local regulatory approvals, getting access to power, and moving forward with actual construction. Delays are unwelcome, and in recent years, they have been exacerbated by supply chain constraints on switchgear, generators, and UPSs. Thankfully, the supply chain landscape is getting better.

Global expansion

Hyperscalers and colocation providers also need global reach. As enterprises deploy AI applications, many solutions will operate at edge computing sites or in the cloud worldwide. The Internet Giants have experience building in the U.S. but need help elsewhere, including Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. An experienced global partner can help them scale reliably and at a reasonable cost. The partner should be able to deliver speed of build and reliable designs that can be replicated even in the most remote places.

Get ahead in the AI race with the right partner

Hyperscalers can gain a competitive advantage in the AI race by working with the right partner. Schneider Electric has the experience and know-how to help hyperscalers and colocation providers design, build, operate, and maintain data centers worldwide. Hyperscalers can benefit from our expertise and knowledge of global markets and standardized designs that reduce lead times and simplify scaling. Learn how Schneider Electric can help data center operators scale to meet growing demands for AI deployments.

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