There are a lot of data center events in the year and it’s hard to make time to be at them all.
However, there are few that I will always do my best to get to. Data Centre World in London has become one of those must-attend events.
The fact that DCW is run alongside Cloud Expo, Big Data World and Smart IoT gives it a scale that few other events can match. This breadth also fits well with the ambition we have for growth and innovation across Vertiv.
For example, the Internet of Things (IoT) is obviously going to have a titanic impact across all industries if, as I trust, predictions of billions of new connected devices are accurate. For the data center industry, IoT is going to spur demand at the edge with new services and agile data center designs emerging to meet those requirements. Smart IoT confirmed this, but the event also provided some great context on wider trends. Organizations from Rolls Royce to Telefonica were at the event giving their take on how best to tap into the opportunities that IoT presents but also highlighting some of the complexities that it could usher in.
However, summarizing all the innovation and the great technology on show across the whole event would be a challenge to say the least. So, let’s just focus in on DCW…
We had a great team of speakers at the show that tackled some of the industry’s hot issues.
Here are some of the key things I took from those sessions and others, as well as from plenty of lively conversations with customers and partners over the two days.
Data centers as active energy players
A number of presentations at DCW helped to reinforce our view that data centers are shifting from just being passive energy consumers to active players in the energy grid. For example, that could include feeding stored energy back into the grid or islanding a data center during periods of peak demand. That blurring of the boundaries of the data center power chain and wider energy grid is going to drive demand for dynamic new technologies and service models. We are working with a number of strategic customers and partners in this area and I look forward to sharing those details soon.
Collaboration and outreach
It was also great to see a lot of industry groups active at the event. Organisations like the Infrastructure Masons - where our own Jack Pouchet is a member of the advisory council along with others from Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google - are uniting all parts of the data center industry to work on a range of important initiatives. That includes reaching out to schools, colleges and universities to champion careers in the data center industry especially to women who are still underrepresented.
Speaking of collaboration, DCW was also the first opportunity we have had to present alongside Geist, a rack PDU leader that joined the Vertiv family earlier this year. It was busy week for Geist who were also part of the Open Compute Summit in the US during the same week.
Datacenter management in the cloud
Finally, while its common knowledge that a cloud service is only as good as the physical data centers that underpins it, fewer people are aware of how cloud could eventually transform datacenter management. New cloud-based services are now emerging that can deliver features such as machine learning-based predictive maintenance to reduce downtime and improve efficiencies across the board. Vertiv is working hard in this important and disruptive area so watch this space…
The next big European event for us is Data Cloud Congress, June 12th-14th in Monaco, I hope to see you there!