The rhetoric that the data centre industry is dying is one of the biggest misconception within the IT industry, according to Greg McCulloch, CEO of Aegis Data. In fact, he states the opposite saying the colocation space is increasingly at the forefront when it comes to supporting new and innovative technology trends including cloud services and growing data volumes, across a host of dynamic and progressive markets.
Speaking on a panel discussion at IP EXPO Europe in London, discussing the future of colocation, McCulloch suggests a lot of confusion exists in the IT industry. Examples of this can be seen in the proliferation of cloud services, plus the emergence of growing data volumes and how these are stimulating new fields in IT at the expense of colocation facilities. Not only does McCulloch strongly disagree with this sentiment, but suggests that the industry’s move away from traditional IT infrastructure to a hosted one can only be achieved with the support of the data centre:
“The emergence of cloud computing has been a game changer for the way organisations, regardless of size and industry manage their IT capabilities. But in amongst this, who is supporting the cloud providers? This is why there are still so many opportunities for colocation providers.
“Increasingly, more and more cloud providers are seeking stable, best-of-breed colocation providers to partner with, in order to host growing requirements for managed cloud services. This need is being driven by a combination of growing data volumes coupled with greater demand for more flexible, bespoke IT capabilities – evidence of this can be seen from IT consultancy, the BroadGroup, which has estimated that the value of the data-service sector in western Europe alone will rise from €4.5bn in 2014 to more than €8bn in 2019.
“Accompanying this growth comes from a spate of M&A activity taking place over recent years. One such example was the multi-billion-pound acquisition of TelecityGroup by Equinix. Others include QTS Realty Trust’s purchase of Carpathia Hosting, demonstrating that this is not just consigned to the industry big players.”
McCulloch continued: “While cloud might be seen as the obvious technology stimulating growth and investment in the colocation sector it is far from the only one. Virtual and augmented reality have been hot topics in 2016, buoyed enormously by the successes of games such as Pokémon Go. Data centre providers have the necessary infrastructure, connectivity and storage capacity in place to handle the demands of this new technology and as it continues to reach mainstream audiences demand for it and the data needed to support it will only continue to rise.
“Finally, as data streams created by VR and AR continue to rise, we’ll likely see a greater need to support denser configurations through power and cooling requirements that are able to outstrip the capabilities of traditional mechanical and electrical infrastructures. High Performance Computing (HPC) capabilities, which were traditionally reserved for researchers, engineers and scientists is an example of this and is now finding a new audience amongst the enterprise keen to support growing trends like IoT and VR.
“For the data centre industry the availability of customised server racks made available through initiatives such as the Open Compute Project (OCP) will be integral when it comes to supporting the higher power densities needed in HPC and hyperscale environments. If you consider all of this in context, the only trajectory for the data centre industry is up,” McCulloch concluded.