Up Close with Chris Curtis, Compass Datacenters: Why is the Hybrid Cloud Solution So Necessary?

LEESBURG, VA – Hybrid Cloud deployment has changed perceptions about what clients want. But that doesn’t mean that they all want the same thing. Understanding the desires and needs of end-users was the focus a signature panel discussion at CapRE’s recent Leesburg Data Center Summit: The Mindset of the Enterprise End-User: Evaluation the Options Within Hybrid IT. Below, we highlight a snippet of that conversation between Moderator Gabe Cole, Chief Technologist at the Strongbow Consulting Group and Chris Curtis, Senior Vice-President for Acquisition & Development at Compass Datacenters.

data center summit“Chris Curtis, you guys have evolved over time, starting from the idea of just modular to now with your newer acquisitions,” remarked Cole. “How are you looking at this need to get flexibility and be able to meet varied requirements of the enterprise customer as they want some things to be neutral, they want rapid access to Cloud providers, and the service mix keeps changing over time?”

“That’s a great question. So that’s the thing — why is the Hybrid Cloud solution necessary?” asked Curtis in response. “Why are some of these folks wanting to go to Microsoft or AWS or any of those others? It’s because the network topology they have built, including the AI for security and other things, it’s almost impossible for a bank or anyone, you’d have to be of a tremendous size, to mimic that same secure network that they’ve created in their data centers.

“So a lot of the time what we are seeing is the enterprises saying yeah, some of our load, whether it’s HPC or whatever, it’s just easier for Azure or whoever to handle that,” Curtis revealed. “And they can’t replicate that. So it all kind of comes back to, well, it’s hard to answer, but really at the end of the day, the network drives everything, in my opinion. And with the network infrastructure that is being built out in this world that we live in, and that all of us are talking about are related to that, you have to pick your spots as to where you want to be.”

Chris Curtis, SVP, Compass Data Centers

According to Curtis, many customers do want to put it all in the Cloud, except maybe for a few mission critical things. “But then you have a lot of customers where, is the enterprise deal dead? No, some customers that are more sophisticated are trying to replicate a lot of the elements that they would attain in the Cloud,” he continued. “That includes an enterprise data center, an Edge application, the ability to do HPC, and what’s also very important is the network of dark fiber connecting all of this together. And can we connect into the Cloud if we want to change over time?”

“That’s the main reason why I think most enterprises don’t want to build their own data centers or don’t want to do so as often as they used to,” he asserted. “And you have these very large hyperscale folks that have gone quite far down that road and have the capital to do it. That’s part of the reason we have a hyperscale product. Because a lot of the demand that used to be in 1, 3, 5 megawatt chunks has all gone into the Cloud – not all but a good part of it.”

The hyperscale product is very real, he stressed, and the hyperscale organizations are growing at a very fast pace. “And most are having a hard time keeping up and understanding how and when to do it, where they need to be, where they’re going to build a network first, where they need to install all of these things, all of the way down to the Edge – where do we need Edge applications?” he shared. “That’s a long way to answer your question but it’s a multi-faceted answer. And all of these numbers and these things we’re talking about, all of the customers that we see are thinking about all of these issues…how they’re going to put up their data center structure.”

For more coverage of this panel, check out earlier CapRE Insider Reports: