Podcast: ark data centers CEO Brett Lindsey Talks Colocation Rebranding for Edge, AI Initiatives

July 2, 2024
DCF asks Brett Lindsey about the rebranding of ark data centers and how it aligns with the larger shift towards edge and AI, leading to a detailed explanation by the ark CEO regarding the reasons behind the move and the company's strategic direction.

For this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show Podcast, ark data centers CEO Brett Lindsey explains the reasons behind the company's recent rebranding (from Involta) and its strategic direction toward data center colocation edge and AI disciplines. 

Also during the interview, Lindsey discusses the new company's planned expansions and recent entry into new markets such as Green Bay, Wisconsin; its investment strategies; and theories of customer segmentation based on colocation and cloud needs.

Additionally coming in for review during the interview are the significance of ark data centers' CMMC [Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certifciation] 2.0 compliance capabilities, its partnerships with government entities, and the company's unique positioning to cater to specific regulatory needs and edge demands.

Here's a summary of the discussion's key moments:

00:40 - DCF asks Brett Lindsay about the rebranding of ark data centers and how it aligns with the larger shift towards edge and AI, leading to a detailed explanation by the ark CEO regarding the reasons behind the move and the company's strategic direction.

2:56 - Inquiries about the company's expansion plans and locations of facilities post-rebranding prompt discussion of data center expansions, along with investment strategies and the idea of segmenting customers into different bands based on colocation and cloud requirements.

5:30 - Talk shifts to the role of regulation, federal opportunities, and cybersecurity certifications in the data center industry, with Lindsey highlighting the significance of CMMC compliance, partnerships with government entities, and the unique positioning of ark data centers to cater to this specific regulatory moment combined with edge prospects.

7:30 - Lindsey says he expects ark data centers to partner with states and colocation facilities for federal cloud initiatives, focusing on cybersecurity and supporting suppliers working with the Department of Defense by 2026.

9:01 - DCF's Editor in Chief brings up the topic of future cloud and AI workloads, emphasizing the need for operators to synchronize efforts in power, land, regulation, and communications infrastructure. In response, Lindsey discusses challenges and opportunities in partnering with local utility companies, securing power commitments, and the evolving landscape of utility providers competing to meet growing demand.

11:56 - ark's Lindsey reflects on the impact of the rebranding on internal teams, customers, and market perception, highlighting the excitement among employees for a fresh start, mixed reactions from customers, and positive feedback from the market regarding the brand transformation and strategic direction of ark data centers.

14:29 - The probable necessity for small modular reactors (SMRs) to meet future data center power demands is explored, with Lindsey highlighting the importance of nuclear energy in achieving ESG targets and how customer requirements will drive investment in this area.

17:12 - DCF brings up anecdotal models for carbon-free energy (CFE) and its implications, prompting Lindsey to explain the significance of data centers partnering with utility providers for renewable energy and aligning with customer demands for cleaner energy.

20:20 - ark's Lindsey expands on how data center cooling strategies are tailored to customer workloads, while considering liquid cooling investments based on specific customer needs and potential new contracts for infrastructure adjustments.

23:55 - To wrap up, Lindsey addresses the urgency in cultivating a skilled workforce for the data center industry, highlighting the need to recruit from skilled trades and educate individuals on transitioning into data center roles, while emphasizing the industry-wide effort required to address this challenge.

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About the Author

Matt Vincent

A B2B technology journalist and editor with more than two decades of experience, Matt Vincent is Editor in Chief of Data Center Frontier.

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