The Data Center Frontier Executive Roundtable features insights from industry executives with lengthy experience in the data center industry. Here’s a look at the insights from Tim Mirick, Senior Vice President Leasing & Marketing at Sabey Data Centers.
Tim Mirick is responsible for Sabey’s national go-to-market strategy. His organization drives leasing of Sabey’s expanding data center portfolio of over 300 MW across five campuses – including Ashburn, VA, Seattle, WA, New York, NY and Central WA. Tim joined Sabey in 2012 and his ability to build an organization capable of communicating the most efficient possible solutions to customers’ capacity requirements has fueled Sabey’s growth.
Here’s the full text of Tim Mirick’s insights from our Executive Roundtable:
Data Center Frontier: Several hyperscale operators have indicated they expect to boost capital investment in digital infrastructure in coming years. What’s the outlook for hyperscale computing in 2021, and what will this mean for data center developers and service providers?
Tim Mirick: Growth in the top markets has continued unabated, and I expect that won’t change in 2021. However, as hyperscale customers seek to lower latencies and push their services ever closer to populations, secondary markets should also see significant expansion.
Data center developers will naturally respond to this demand with investment in regionally strategic capacity while working to stay ahead of challenging supply chain delays. Delivering this capacity in flexible designs will be crucial to future-proofing customers’ ever-increasing densities. Further, the quest for net-zero carbon is only accelerating, and developers will continue to focus on greening their power options.
Data Center Frontier: Enterprise IT spending appears to be rebounding after subdued spending in 2020. What are the most important trends you’re seeing in enterprise demand, and how might they impact the data center business in 2022?
Tim Mirick: As the dust settles, the post-pandemic business landscape is finally coming into focus for most enterprises. Unsurprisingly, most are doubling down on their commitment to hybrid IT initiatives.
As significant hybrid IT projects drive on-premise data centers to colocation and cloud, data center developers will be directly affected. First, additional enterprise demand will help smooth pipelines, mitigating the risks of courting only large hyperscale opportunities. Additionally, as enterprises move workloads between colocation and cloud, providers will find themselves in the position of needing to be flexible in both design and contracts.
Data Center Frontier: Cooling is a hot topic, as data center operators seek to balance growing use of AI hardware with commitments on sustainability and water use. What do you expect will be the key themes in data center cooling in the next several years?
Tim Mirick: Density is growing alongside compute demand, and AI is an excellent example of a technology driving such deployments. Companies in cutting-edge spaces like AI will innovate at a blistering rate, and their operators will need to collaborate closely with them to stay ahead of their future requirements.
As a long-term partner in this space, we have found that a flexible design is a key to providing long-term peace of mind and confidence to our customers. We begin with air cooling that supports up to 100kW racks but retains the capability to pivot to liquid or even immersion cooling when the hardware demands and supports it.
Data Center Frontier: What might increased adoption of “metaverse” virtual worlds mean for digital infrastructure and the data center industry?
Tim Mirick: As envisioned by the tech giants, a “metaverse” will require a massive platform and could ultimately be a significant driver of colocation leasing. New capacity requirements will arise as this latest example of the tech industry’s innovation creates another global ecosystem of applications and uses.
Applications supporting a “metaverse” world would likely have similar requirements as today’s modern platforms: dense compute, massive storage, varying latencies. Some applications will require proximity to dense population centers, while others may reside in lower-cost rural facilities.