Originally posted on Data Center POST
Data Center POST recently interviewed Stephen Scott, the CEO of Datalec, a full-service operator that designs, builds, and fits out data centers. Stephen has extensive experience in private equity and mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the Data Center and Submarine Telecoms Cable spaces, and has held senior positions in various related companies. Continue reading to learn Stephen’s key insights on the future of the industry and his plans for the upcoming Datacloud Global Congress 2023 event taking place April 25-27, 2023 in Monaco.
Data Center POST (DCP) Question: Datacloud Global Congress in Monaco opens with reflections on the Merger & Acquisition (M&A) landscape. What comes top of mind to you, and why is that significant for the industry?
Steve Scott, CEO, Datalec (SS) Answer: The M&A space has cooled off a little. Many of the transactions that could have been completed have already, and those larger DC operators and funds are themselves developing new sites and geographies more organically. Certainly, some smaller DC operators are working through M&A and build programs; they may ultimately be acquired by one of the larger players. Separately, the cost of capital coupled with uncertainty around power price and availability has had a cooling effect. The general expectation anticipates market corrections to both of these significant moving parts in the forthcoming 12 months.
DCP Q: The conference will be exploring the top data center investments required for the next 12 months. What are a few of your own predictions of what is required to sustain the ongoing demand required by the industry?
SS A: To support a model that relies on distributed cloud services, tier 2 and 3 cities need to be served better with smaller, even-edge data center services. Processing power and application strategy must take better advantage of the substantial sustainable and low-cost power available in some parts of the world. To support this, more submarine and terrestrial networking solutions need to be deployed.
DCP Q: Sustainability in data center development is important. How are you adapting to ensure your operations meet or exceed the industry’s sustainable best practices?
SS A: We are setting achievable goals and measuring ourselves against these. Datalec is in the business of constructing data centers, so a real focus on offsite modular design and preparations to minimize onsite staff and operations is at the heart of our plans. Datalec continues to work on a hybrid WFH/office-based plan for all staff.
DCP Q: Does the edge matter anymore? What is your current perspective about the edge and what can we be doing better (or differently) to be better?
SS A: Certainly, the edge matters. The long-awaited 5G rollout will take advantage of localized processing and media delivery solutions. With Ultra-high definition (UHD) available, peer-to-peer demands (video conferencing and fully immersive virtual reality) the benefit of not rerouting every event to the core of the network. Notwithstanding the latency improvements, managing these at the edge of the network is critical as the demand for greater resolution and detail dominates. 5.5G and 6G are already in the planning phase, and these services, if they are ever to succeed, require a greater cell density than 3G and 4G ever needed. These cells will all be designed around micro-edge data centers.
DCP Q: Connectivity in data centers has always been a core service enablement (at least since the onset of the interconnection era). If land, power, connectivity, and water are all equal – what are other top factors to consider when deciding on a location for data center deployments?
SS A: 1. Delivering against sustainability targets. 2. Managing latency requirements; for applications highly sensitive to latency, process these local to the demographic; for applications insensitive to latency, process these via the most economical route. 3. Access and resource; you always need to gain access to your DC and you, for the most part, require technical and engineering resources to manage. 4. Cloud services need, for the most part, to be distributed. Delivering a resilient and reliable set of products local to the consumer (commercial or residential) is fairly fundamental.
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