Welcome to our 16th Data Center Executive Roundtable, a quarterly feature showcasing the insights of thought leaders around the condition of the data centre industry, and where it is headed. In our Third Quarter 2019 roundtable, we examine four topics: key trends in interconnection services, opportunities in global markets, helping the supply chain keep also the potential for automation in data centre management, and pace with timelines that are hyperscale.

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Here’s a glance at our distinguished panel:

Jeff Klaus is General Manager of Intel Data Center Software Solutions, leading a global team that designs, builds, sells and supports Intel DCM applications.

Erich Sanchack is Executive Vice President of Operations in Digital Realty, responsible for overseeing global portfolio operations, international construction, uk colocation and interconnection support in addition to supply chain operations.

Mitch Fonseca is the VP, Data Center Products at Cyxtera Technologies, leading to global datacenter product direction and industrial solutions teams.

Eric Boonstra is Vice President & General Manager of the Data Center business for Iron Mountain, linking the Business in 2018 via its acquisition of EvoSwitch.

The dialogue is moderated by Rich Miller, the founder and editor of Data Center Frontier. Each day this week we will present a Q&A with all these executives on among our issues that are key. We start with a look at our panelists’ take on the worldwide data center landscape.

Data Center Frontier: This year we have seen strong demand for data center space in global markets. What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for data center firms in operating at global scale and working together with clients that are multi-national?

Eric Boonstra: We’ve seen enormous growth in the FLAP (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris) regions in Europe. All these are the four data economy areas in Europe. And they are still growing.

Demand is increasing, but the makeup of the demand is changing. Hyperscalers were responsible in FLAP this past year for approximately 70 percent of the colocation space. That implies that data center/colocation providers will have cloud suppliers in our facilities and more and more hyperscalers, and shows the rapid growth of the cloud.

These days, data centre providers accommodate a blend of retail, wholesale and hyperscale clients in their facilities, and every one of these three customer classes have different needs and requirements. Today if we would like to attract all 3 client groups we need to offer you a mix while we used to possess retail and wholesale data centers.

Colocation providers must make a choice — do we want to remain a wholesale or retail supplier, or do we would like to serve everyone? So things must change A lot of us, including Iron Mountain, wish to serve everyone. We need to be flexible in the way we build our information centers, in addition to how we set our contracts and SLA’s, how we finance, etc..

We’re also seeing a growing demand from our clients to work together on an global level. They have a need in Singapore, Frankfurt, Virginia and Amsterdam , for instance. The suppliers that show flexibility, which have an international footprint and capability at the ideal time and the place are the individuals who will be leading the global data centre market.

DMaaS

Jeff Klaus: Globally we’re still seeing increasing numbers center development. That absorption almost surpassed the 200 MW of power added in H1. Northern Virginia, the biggest data centre market in the world, accounted for 74 percent of net absorption in the primary markets.”

That interest has many drivers that I believe proceed regardless of the potential geopolitical issues. Those drivers include, corporate multi-cloud use, 5G adoption, AI, and blockchain utilization (external of cryptocurrency). Challenges will be competitive pressure from demand to fulfill the megawatt absorption we continue to see.

I believe suppliers will have to innovate in their software solution stack and partnerships to maintain a distinction and catch more demand.

ERICH SANCHACK, Digital Realty

Erich Sanchack: As more colocation data centre businesses consider scaling internationally, the ability to get data center resources in a means that is consistent to the customer will become increasingly important. From the customer perspective, big companies have started to look at the benefits of working with one colocation provider across several areas.

As organizations seem to climb, they require a supplier that could grow together to let them reach their full capacity and keep up with the development of the business models. Providers offering a range of solutions across edge, hyperscale and interconnection capabilities will win.