Up-Close with FiberNext: Fiber’s Now Part of the Entire Construction Process
by Josh Anderson
BOSTON, MA – Ryan Irving is CEO/CFO of FiberNext, LLC. Ryan began designing and selling test equipment for the telecom market. In 1993 he began working exclusively with fiber optics. Now with 25 years of fiber industry experience, Mr. Irving holds several patents for fiber testing. Kevin Haddock is Business Development Manager at FiberNext, LLC. Kevin Haddock started his career in fiber optics in 2000 in the test and inspection equipment market. Kevin has held several positions in the fiber optic industry including product management, channel management, sales management and marketing. FiberNext is a key participant in CapRE’s annual Boston and New England Data Center Summit. We recently caught up with Irving and Haddock to learn more about the latest at FiberNext and their most recent observations of regional trends and developments.
CapRE: Thanks for chatting with us today, guys. Please share with our readers a bit about your latest activity and what’s been on your plate recently.
Irving: FiberNext is a very diverse company that does work in many markets. We work with medical device manufacturers, for example. And we have quite a bit of work going on with a local cancer research company.
CapRE: What are some interesting opportunities you’re approaching in the data center space?
Irving: We have recently developed relationships with AXIS Communications and Canovate – they have pretty nice data center products, which we were showing at the CapRE event in Boston. For example, with the trend toward Edge computing, Canovate micro data centers — a rack on wheels complete with A/C, fire suppression, PDU, back-up power supply, magnetic door locks, and environmental monitoring – it’s a turn-key thing, all you have to do is hook up your optics or servers.
CapRE: And how does this play into what you do at FiberNext?
Irving: We are trying to expand our role in the data center industry. Historically we’ve been in the tail end of construction, where now we’re coming in more as the data center is being designed. We’re getting involved in some of the refinements, to get the fiber optics more operational, and more involved in the front end of site selection.
There’s more opportunities there, and there are a lot of things we can show people, for example, people might think they need MPO technology, and we can show them that there are other options such as small form factor connectors. And in terms of the rack structures, with Edge computing, you don’t need to build a mega 200,000 square foot data center. You can compartmentalize it and look at it in a different way. However, if you are looking to build a 200,000 square foot data center, we can help you with that as well.
CapRE: What did you think of the Boston event? What did you find relevant?
Haddock: There is a lot of the conversations around the data centers on the Edge and Edge computing which we saw as being relevant, as we started looking at the line of Canovate products and micro data centers and how they fit into the picture. We definitely found these conversations to be interesting.
CapRE: How do you feel about what’s going on in the New England arena? How would you characterize that market?
Irving: Well, we’re the physical layer. The nuts and bolts. I think that what we look for in working with companies who want to modernize or construct something is that it would be more advantageous for us to have direct links to the end user, to have that influence on what they want to get done – how to get it done and how to do it more efficiently. We want to make sure that you get a best in class network at the end of the day.
CapRE: What changes in the market have you seen in the last couple of years?
Haddock: This year was our first time at the New England Data Center Summit in Boston. We see that the size of the market in the Boston area is a lot smaller than it is in other parts of the country. There’s been some expansion but it’s seems to be much smaller than other in other parts of the U.S. for sure. It could be because of pure space. Data centers on the Edge and Edge computing could change that.
CapRE: And what do you see happening next, into the next year or two?
Haddock: Well, Edge computing could definitely change things. Instead of having larger offsite data centers, there could be small micro data centers on various floors of a building.
Irving: If you’re looking at the realtor’s side of it, and saying I’m trying to put in so much processing in this area and you’re trying to find that property, you’ll be limited. But if you break it up it will provide more opportunities for people to sublet portions of their buildings.
CapRE: Thanks for your time guys. We’re looking forward to seeing you at another CapRE Data Center Summit soon.
Since its foundation in 2003, FiberNext has been providing materials solutions, custom products, technical training and value-added services to fiber optic users across the United States. Throughout their ongoing evolution, FiberNext has continued to deliver inspired fiber optic solutions to its clients across a broad range of markets, through value-added services and innovative materials designed to fit their specific needs. FiberNext’s inherent strengths, which consist of network design, installation planning, materials provisioning, construction services, project management and system documentation, have grown to include turnkey services for any company working with fiber optic technology.