Originally posted to the Independent Data Center Alliance

The pandemic era has created a shift to a world where vast numbers of individuals are tuning in to work over Zoom or other collaborative platforms, traffic has increased massively and network footprints have had to expand to cover a remote workforce. While we can make educated assumptions about COVID-19’s impact on networking based on these facts, when it comes to IT infrastructure, there’s no better place to garner insights than straight from the experts.

Diving into this topic further, the Independent Data Center Alliance (IND-DCA), a consortium of global independent data center operators collaborating to create single-sourced solutions for buyers, presented a session at The 2020 INCOMPAS Show, which took place online from September 14-16, 2020. The panel, titled “Independent Data Center Operators Address Network Aggregation,” explored insights from operators about necessary changes to network aggregation points and services, interconnectivity, regional network partnerships and beyond. The panelists for this session included Tom Brown, CEO of DataGryd; Hugh Carspecken, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for DartPoints; Phil Koblence, Co-Founder and COO of NYI; and Michael Morey, CEO of Bluebird Network and the Bluebird Underground Data Center. The panel was moderated by Peter Judge of DatacenterDynamics.

From the perspective of the edge, Carspecken kicks off the conversation by noting that what’s happening here with IT infrastructure in the midst of a pandemic is “a compelling event colliding with a paradigm shift.” In essence, data that has traditionally found its way through Tier 1 markets is now trying to find its way into more regional or often overlooked markets — especially as online learning becomes the ‘new norm’. This means networking customers are trying to make sure that they can deliver plenty of bandwidth and applications to their students, which now means a focus on the last mile. The network emphasis has shifted from commercial  and business focused networks to residential networks because Work from Home (WFH) and distance learning has shifted users from the office to their primary residence.

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