Jan Wiersma’s round-up from this year’s IMN / Data Centres Forum conference

At this year’s IMN Financing, Investing & Real Estate Development for Data Centres Forum, I joined the brilliant Jean-Simon Venne, Vice President-Energy Efficiency, SMi-Enerpro, to discuss datacenter design, implementation and construction. Our session on Day 1, combined with the Green Data Centres, Data Centre Energy Efficiency and ROI/Payback debate, saw many great and discerning arguments raised.

One discussion I was particularly involved in was around the idea that clients aren’t asking for modular and ‘green’ approaches from real estate giants. My counterpoint to this argument was that without utilising the modular approach, clients potentially miss the great CAPEX opportunity that this typically offers. Equally, from an OPEX perspective, the modular benefits of free cooling and reduced temperatures are unexploited. It is therefore the responsibility of the datacenter industry to educate customers on these issues as they often fall under the radar of many CIOs and CFOs, which is therefore the reason many businesses don’t opt for them.

With regards to the green business agenda, the market has now reached a point where if businesses aren’t seen to be proactive in this space, local governments across Europe will starts to demand and implement legislation around it. Amsterdam, for example, requires a PUE (power usage effectiveness) of between 1.3 and 1.4, with the UK similarly, experiencing a rise in the business ethos that green = cost leadership. However, I believe once achieving a PUE of 1.2 and below, datacenter facility owners should begin looking at WUE (water usage and water source), optimising their IT usage and linking together facility and IT segments to optimise overall performance.

Day 2 saw the first panel to touch on cloud. Discussions placed emphasis on expected growth in the enterprise IT sector; arguing growth will cause the move towards wholesale rather than full cloud. This is mainly due to lack of trust from organisations such as government bodies and financial organisations, but fortunately, this was widely anticipated not to affect datacenter growth.

The panel furthered the discussion and moved to argue that the customer is not asking for green power. I found this particularly interesting, as I pointed out, Greenpeace and government regulations will force the usage of green power in the not so distant future. No one had read Greenpeace’s cloud report, either! Fortunately, the majority of the audience supported my view, as did they on Twitter. Also, Government tax will be a much larger issue for businesses, especially if we look at the positive tax climate in Amsterdam and Dublin, which is driving companies like Microsoft and Amazon to those regions.

Following two solid days of debate and deep industry insight, the event finished on a great high, highlighting predictions for the future of the cloud and datacenter industry. According to the final panel, the future for the market looks like this:

  • Full modular design rollout
  • Outside cooling
  • Near sustainable energy sources
  • High density (>20kW / server racks)
  • The demise of the ‘mega datacenter’ in favour of grids of smaller ones

For more information about EvoSwitch’s datacenter developments, and our latest product offerings, please contact our sales team who we be more than happy to discuss this with you. We look forward to hearing from you.

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