James Young, CommScope, Talks Investment Direction for Edge, Hyperscale Deployments at Vancouver Summit
by Josh Anderson
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Connectivity may be the most important – and most defining – ingredient in the recipe for a good data center. But data centers are only one part of the larger eco-system that makes up our global infrastructure. That’s why CapRE includes a panel about connectivity at each of its data center summits, and the recent Vancouver Data Center Summit was no exception.
“Flexibility of Growth in Connectivity: Analysis of Network Reconfiguration to Support Evolving Needs” kicked off with a spotlight on panelist James Young, Global Director for Data Centers at CommScope.
“James, let’s start with you,” suggested panel moderator Brian Klebash, Founder and CEO of CapRE. “We’ve seen the evolution of the data center supply side. We’ve seen the growth of the Edge, and the Micro Edge, as well as the growth of hyperscale. How do you see the investment from CommScope’s perspective, when you look at the various types of providers that are out there today?”
“From an investment perspective, I would say that we are probably looking at pull, more than push,” replied Young. “It seems to be very early in the market for Edge data centers. I was just in Austin last week, where a number of people were talking about what they saw as obstacles to investment in the Edge — a good business case being one that probably came up the most. But there are areas in industrial IoT where with moderation you can draw positive terms. And I think that the carriers are starting to invest in improving their radio networks, C-RAM, and other things…”
“In terms of real 5G build-outs and in terms of mobile Edge computing, that’s not being deployed here,” he continued. “Not in the States that we can see. But certainly, as they start to get ready with C-RAM, that sets the stage for investments there. the other thing that they were talking about is what kind of money is going into the Edge and secondary markets. The investment in primary markets is still very strong.”
According to Young, traditional lenders still seek risk-free or low-risk investment for large markets. “However secondary markets, and there are lots of them in the U.S. – even Phoenix is a secondary market, along with some other cities in the Northwest – they now are starting to see investment in those markets,” he continued. “And that is coming from non-traditional players. So a lot of Canadian money is flowing in there. Foreign infrastructure companies, who typically builds roads and airports and so on, are starting to think that they missed the boat in the first round of data centers, so they are starting to invest in secondary markets.”
Banner Photo (L): James Young, Global Director for Data Centers at CommScope