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One of my favorite pieces of my job is the opportunity to interact with customers and colleagues from around the globe. The Cloud & Service Provider space is, in many ways, a small and somewhat insulated community, as anyone who has tried to talk about PUE or levels of redundancy at a cocktail party can attest. This reality struck me again when we were hosting a contingent of data center professionals from India at our Schneider Electric Technology Center in St Louis, Mo. (USA). It was interesting on the one hand how similar their challenges are to their peers around the globe and, on the other, how every market has its own unique challenges.
The discussion around speed of deployment could have been happening with any of our colocation clients anywhere in the world. As cloud customers continue to take more space in colo data centers, we are all feeling the effects of their speed. The “go live” date cannot change regardless of the interim checkpoints that are missed. Similarly, the Indian colocation providers were facing the dual challenges of keeping costs down while also future-proofing their design to mitigate risk. Competition will continue to be fierce so how do they make sure they’re designing for the next needs of their clients?
While these challenges may seem familiar to most of us, our friends in India also face some hurdles specific to their market. Power quality (which our friends in the Nordics might take for granted for instance) varies widely across the country. Finding the right location becomes critical. Similarly, some locations have very high energy costs, which impacts the business model for some of these players. The climate also drives some challenges from a cooling perspective, which of course tie directly to the need for energy management.
While I can read reports and industry journals to gain insights, there’s absolutely nothing more valuable than hearing directly from our customers. Engagements like this have me really looking forward to the 5th International Colocation Club we’ll be hosting later this year.
In the meantime, I’ll look for more invitations to meetings. And you can look back on last year’s keynote presentation by Rhonda Ascierto, research director at 451 Research, as well as the roundtable we held in Paris with providers from around the globe. Hopefully I’ll see you at an event soon.