What do End-Users Want? Seattle Data Center Insiders Share Insight on Finance, Healthcare, IT Sector Cloud Migration
by Josh Anderson
SEATTLE, WA — There’s no stopping the cloud at this point, but that doesn’t mean that every migration to the cloud will be identical or that everyone even wants to go there. At our Seattle Data Center Summit, we asked a panel of executives what they’re seeing on the ground in the Pacific Northwest in the cloud migration arena. First up, we spoke with Marcelo Garcés, Managing Director, Savills Studley. As a broker, he has a broad perspective on this, so we asked him, what are his tenants calling him about? What do they want?
“That’s a great question,” he replied. “It’s interesting because, depending on who the tenant is, their intellectual capacity for the cloud is very low, or it may be so high that they don’t even need me.”
Garcés deals with a lot of folks who need help understanding what the cloud is. “They probably have an installation on-premise that isn’t ideal, but they’re super proud of it,” he shared. “So sometimes you have to deal with, Hey, your data center in the basement has all of this water coming in….I think you should maybe consider an alternative solution. So having those kinds of conversations consciously is really kind of the place where I come in.”
“I usually introduce Chad [Arnold, Business Development Executive- Cloud & Content – Equinix] and my other colleagues here, to them and bring them into the conversation to really help decide what the next best step is,” he concluded. “Because that’s a really confusing chapter for end-users.”
As far as who is hesitant about the cloud, Garés says that financial entities can at times just be terrified of security problems. “They think that if they keep their data really close to their chest, it’ll be safer,” he explained.
Next, we touched base with Chad Arnold himself, and asked who is driving new cloud growth in his neck of the woods. “Companies that have that legacy hesitance to make that virtualization move, like oil and gas – that is a sector that we’ve worked with lately in Canada,” he revealed. “They want to keep it all on-premise, and they’ve had that legacy mentality. But they’re starting to dip their toe in the water and then make their move in a big way. Those are two industries where we are seeing that.”
However, Arnold still thinks that the financial space is an interesting one, since there are many kinds of players there. “You’ve got players who have been part of our core interconnection ecosystem,” he mused. “All of the real-time bidding platforms, like the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, the Toronto Monetary Exchange, that have chosen to pop with us based on their ability to interconnect with their financial partners and not just in milliseconds of latency but nanoseconds of latency. So that capability has changed the business model for some, but some of those more legacy financial institutions that don’t have that requirement have stayed on –prem.
Finally, we connected with Eric Hulbert, President & Co-Founder at Opus Interactive. “From our end user standpoint we are definitely seeing the hospitals, who will say that they’ve already got the infrastructure and they’ve got generators, so they’re gonna spin up their own data center,” he offered
“Then typically you get IT firms who will build a $22 million per megawatt facility that obviously is way more expensive than the hyperscalers can build, and wholesale providers too, so we see them continuing to do that, but then what ends up happening is what they call the Shadow IT – they’re putting a lot of their workloads out in the cloud anyway, despite what IT wants them to do, because they’re not able to spin up what they need fast enough,” shared Hulbert.
“Life sciences is a big one we’re seeing put a lot of infrastructure into the facilities, or hybrid cloud scenarios,” he continued. “And obviously, big banks, big finance is still wanting to run their own facility, but…depending on the number, security can be just as good if not better in a wholesale facility that is purpose-built for their needs. And then they can just focus on IT and the infrastructure on the inside. We’re seeing that. And in healthcare in general we’re seeing a lot of shifting to the hybrid cloud, where they’ll put their private infrastructure in a multi-tenant facility, but it’s secured in a way that makes sense.”