What we’ve learned from listening to the data center industry
The biggest trends in the data center industry today have big implications for cabinet and containment procurement teams:
Turning older physical infrastructure into cabinet-ready whitespace, and doing it fast
Getting more computing power out of smaller footprints and doing it sustainably
Shortening timelines from design through build more than ever before
Our team spent time listening to customers and data center industry folks at the fantastic DCD NY show.
Trade shows are one of the best ways to have face to face conversations around what industry folks are hearing, seeing, feeling, and learning every day in their roles. We put together this video of some of what we were hearing from data center industry folks, and here is a full recap of the biggest themes in the industry today:
More projects than ever need custom configurations
While the greenfield, net-new data center facilities that were being constructed en masse a few years ago had their own challenges in terms of procurement, today's data center build outs are completely different in terms of scope and requirements.
Today, data processing is "pushing to the edge" to bring more computing power closer to users, but any given neighborhood in a major metro - or even a suburban - area is not going to have hundreds of thousands of square feet of space to build neat rows of cabinets along with the necessary containment and thermal management needed. And since every space is a little different, each project needs new specifications and requirements and a new approach to sourcing hardware.
When every project is a custom job, the more modular and customizable a cabinet or containment product is, the more flexibility you have. Even better when more of the components you need are integrated at the rack level, the more you can get out of every inch of real estate.
Sustainability is everyone's priority
Up and down the supply chain, everyone is asking good questions:
- What waste is involved in this step in the process and how could it be reduced?
- Are there new ways we can reuse materials?
- How can we improve on last year's waste management initiatives?
- Are we using every watt of power in our system - and if not, why not and how can we do better?
Better integrated components, smarter technology, and constant innovation are what you must expect from every vendor and partner you work with if you want to achieve sustainability goals for this year coming year. When you can package more units together and reuse those packaging materials, you're one step closer.
Moving faster means relying on vendors as true partners
When you are working on projects in terms of days and weeks instead of months and quarters, there's less room for error. With shorter timelines for every phase of a project, when something doesn't go according to plan, projects can get pushed way off schedule - fast.
And we know things never go exactly according to plan.
It might be nice to individually source all the components you need, hunting down the best prices and options, but that also requires taking the time to make sure everything will work well together in your space. Every opportunity you have to package and bundle complimentary hardware is an opportunity to condense your process and move faster.
Comprehensive, integrated solutions are better suited to achieve faster turnaround. When you work with a team that can bundle racks, PDUs, aisle containment and thermal management systems - even integrating them down to the rack level - you know your equipment will work efficiently when its installed and you save time.
Listening to customers informs everything we do - check out what we saw at the latest DCD NY show and tell us: how are you or your teams adapting to improve thermal management, sustainability, and space utilization even down to the rack level in your data centers?