The Future of Connectivity: For Every Unit of Logistical Data, Expect 8-10 Units of Traditional Data
DALLAS, TX — At our recent Texas Data Center Summit, we convened a panel of Dallas area insiders to discuss the future of connectivity, with a focus on the importance of flexibility to data center growth, and as well as how networks might be reconfigured as we look to the future. One insider we heard from was Hugh Carspecken, CEO of DartPoints, who says it’s a brand new world out there.
“People are very used to a traditional data center,” he says. “And I am very much pro-larger data centers, you know? Just because you build a smaller data center located in an obscure area in some cases, doesn’t mean that the larger data centers are not going to keep growing. What we’re seeing is a completely different data center. This is what people are starting to build now.”
Carspecken says these efforts are in preparation for three, four, five, maybe as far out as ten years. “They need to build this type of infrastructure now,” says Carspecken. “The current infrastructure, they already know is not going to work. It’s not that anything’s going wrong or being built incorrectly. It’s because the applications that are about to be created are going to be used in a completely different way.”
“I’ll give you an analogy,” Carspecken continues. “I grew up in Atlanta. Atlanta has 75 & 85 through downtown. So they built 285 around the perimeter. But if you have people coming in off 75 from the north, across the top part of the loop and they go down 85, they never hit the downtown area. That’s called a hairpin.”
According to Carspecken, we’re seeing the same thing occurring now in the connectivity world, especially with 5G. “You’re going to have data that, as it’s being used and consumed, is never going to touch the core until it’s been digested,” he says. “That is not negative. I call it logistical data. For every unit of logistical data, we are expecting anywhere from 8 and 10 units of our traditional data. So the larger data centers are just going to roll with this. The pipes are going to keep growing. But when someone decides to hairpin, through an autonomous driving vehicle, they hit the Alpha antenna and then the Gamma antenna, and they’re not leaving that cell site. It doesn’t matter what you put at that cell site, it’s literally not leaving.”
“So we’re starting to work with people like insurance companies, who are trying to track that,” shares Carspecken. “We’re trying to work with videos for certain type of applications of ours that will be able to access that. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t touch back. But this is a brand new type of data. People are interested in the rumblings about data centers and cell towers, and obviously that’s true. But they’re just trying to feel it out right now, trying to figure out what needs to go out there. As you see it grow, you’re going to see more and more of this.”
The question, concludes Carspecken, is which towers? Where do they put them? When do they put them? What do they put there? “As you build out these cell towers, maybe a couple of steps in, some of the sites that we’re building, we build out these cell towers, they take very different shapes,” he explains. “That will attract a MegaPort in one, an interconnect in another, and it will dictate different users for those differences.”