Whether near a 7/11 or J. Crew, “Data Centers Are Going to Be All Around, Everywhere in the Future”
by Josh Anderson
DALLAS, TX – Sometimes, data center conversations are all about the big picture – M&A, Connectivity, 5G. However, it’s important to remember that the nitty gritty topics are the source of all of this exciting technology and driving all of these industry trends. And that’s why the panel discussion Innovations in the Architecture, Design & Engineering of Mission Critical Facilities was a key centerpiece of CapRE’s 2018 Texas Data Center Summit.
Moderator Dave Sterlace, Global Head of Data Center Technology for ABB posed many questions to his panelists, one of whom was Will Stark, IT Solutions Consultant for Rahi Systems. Below, we highlight a brief Q&A with Stark about the changing landscape of IT and compute, and what that means for data center architecture and engineering.
“There’s been a lot of changes in IT. I think about composable IT for example,” began Sterlace, motioning to Stark. “How do you guys approach that?”
“These guys up here are talking about building mountains out of boulders. We build mountains out of tiny grains of sand,” Stark quipped to kick off his remarks. “We’re looking at the single rack level. A single piece of connectivity. So, you’re talking about an SLA, and the data centers that we’re moving into, is a data center of a data center. Within a pod, or whatever we want to call it nowadays, a little twelve-rack footprint can now hold what was traditionally broken down into a whole data haul.”
“So these guys, when you’re talking about these huge air handlers and the different types of power that are going to be so strong, instead of being a single digital facility that has six data centers, it’s going to be a building that looks quite the same, but within it, it will have dozens of those data centers built into it,” he confidently predicted. “So that’s the new face of things, and that’s where we’re going, and it’s only going to get more intricate as time goes on.”
That led Sterlace to pose a follow-up question. “You mentioned earlier how you guys focus on the Edge. Where do you think that is going to impact first?” he asked. “I come from an industrial background, so I see the sheer amount of compute needs to be done, and how that’s going to change things on the factory floor. Some panelists earlier were talking about, how you can have 100 years of data in 15 second increments, saying the year was 72 degrees, but what I care about is when it is outside of that range. So how do I manage that?”
“I think we’re going to have to undergo some very radical changes,” Stark cautioned. “And we’re getting a lot of real estate people here, so if you’re driving around, you might see a for lease sign. It might be near a 7/11 or a J. Crew or whatever. But I think that the real estate landscape in the future is going to be a virtual landscape. We’re going to have to learn how to work on load power.”
“We’re going to have to completely change the way we consume power, and I think that data centers are going to be all around, everywhere in the future,” stressed Stark, concluding his input on these topics. “Those places that you see for lease, they’re going to have small data hauls inside of them. So I think we’re looking forward to some really cool changes, and the data center market is really going to bleed into our real lives throughout them.”
For more coverage of this panel, check out an earlier CapRE Insider Report: