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7x24 Arizona July Luncheon: State of the Market - Current and Future Innovations in Data

Mark Bauer 07/13/2020

Last week marked the July (virtual) luncheon of the 7x24 Exchange’s Arizona chapter. The event featured overall activity overviews and a deep dive into both the distant and near future of our digital infrastructure featuring Mark Bauer of Data Center Solutions Group and Dean Nelson of Virtual Power Systems. We extend a very special thanks to Anthony Bolner of Stream Data Centers for sponsoring the event.

State of the Market – Greater Phoenix

Anthony Bolner kicked off the event with Stream’s current situation in Goodyear, AZ, after entering the market about a year ago with a 157-acre land purchase in the southwest valley. With multiple users having entered Phoenix’s southwest valley in the same time frame, Stream and others are showing great enthusiasm now being able to take advantage of Phoenix’s favorable business climate and relatively low operation costs. The southwest valley was never an option historically, as fiber connectivity was sparse compared to other viable spots in the metro. With connectivity additions by Cox, Zayo and Crown Castle throughout the last five years, the Goodyear area has become a worthwhile location for colocation centers.

Mark Bauer of Data Center Solutions Group joined the conversation after Bolner to discuss the 20 megawatts of absorption this year as well as the current construction climate. With last year seeing approximately 25 megawatts of absorption in the Valley, year-to-date activity has totaled to about 20 megawatts, only 20% behind last year with some additional time left to allow for more movement in the market.

On that note, overall construction on current projects throughout the southwest valley, Chandler, and East Mesa have been making great progress whilst adjusting to new precautions and processes. Essentially, teams have adjusted to wearing proper PPE while only requiring crucial members to be on-site when needed. If a specific role can be carried out efficiently on a remote basis then member of the team will continue to do so from another location. Compass, Aligned Energy and Raging Wire are among some of the other names that have continued construction with observable progress. Landmark Dividend, a new entry to the market this year, also acquired a corporate owned data center that was leased back to a corporate client.

Overall, Phoenix remains in the top five markets throughout the country with many potential newcomers and current users looking to expand their facilities.

GEEKOUT Arizona – Dean Nelson

Dean Nelson was given the floor for the remainder of the conference to give a general overview of digital culture and innovation as it continues to evolve at an exponential rate across the globe. We highly recommend watching his presentation above, however, below is a snippet of his exposition.

The increase in digital infrastructure, labor and overall data continues to multiply every year, however, our current situation has seen that increase at an even faster rate. About ten years ago there were 13 billion people and things in the cloud era; we now have more than 100 billion people and things online. More importantly, our industry as a whole consumes approximately 2-3% of global energy, with a projected increase to around 10% by 2030. That’s a lot of power!

Three important concepts and innovations are driving current efficiency increases in data driven processes:

          Digital Labor

With these massive increases in data and artificial intelligence innovations, a large portion of existing jobs will be made obsolete or unnecessary. Dean explained the versatility of an AI called Amelia created by ipsoft with the potential to connect to all of your current systems and infrastructure to create a seamless workflow with the least amount of effort from the user. What if you could have full blown conversations about work related projects and tasks and have them completed instantaneously? That’s Amelia. Amelia is at the forefront of ipsoft’s AI leap, however, the overall vision includes a more diverse arsenal of “digital employees” that can be downloaded from an app store based on current needs.

Micro Edge

Eventually, edge capacity expansions will have enough power to “dwarf” current data centers by leveraging 5g connectivity’s blazing fast speeds. This has the potential to include seamless usage of futuristic concepts such as augmented reality shopping, immersive gaming, (extremely) smart buildings and other AI enabled processes that haven’t even been brought to fruition due to current technological limitations. EdjX is currently leading efforts in this space, with plans to deploy microedge that has the ability to orchestrate tasks with up to 100x more bandwidth and reach than current systems.

Software Defined Data Center

As stated above, data centers have the potential to consume up to 10% of our total power usage by 2030. With that, more efficient uses of current power is needed to offset the increasing need to simply building more data centers to fill the gap. This is Dean’s current wheelhouse, as he and his team at Virtual Power Systems observed the current power wastage in colocation centers to be up to 50% in specific situations. Their solution lies within the intelligent control of energy, or ICE, using software designed power systems to inject energy when needed and augment the capabilities of current structures. We highly recommend watching this bit in the presentation, as a software defined data center has the immediate potential to lower costs and increase usage while still maintaining your service level agreement.

In other words, the future of data looks absolutely fantastic as we continue to apply cutting edge solutions to our current problems and processes. There’s absolutely no doubt in global increases of power and data, and innovators like Dean are looking to harness feasible solutions and increased efficiency to our booming industry.

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