By Sandra De Novellis, iMiller Public Relations Vice President, Engagement Strategy and Business Development

When it comes to data center markets, New York is one of the largest and most eminent spots in the world. While data facilities remain the star in this business and technical hub, many providers are facing the reality that their current operational methods and architectures may be rendered obsolete as new technologies emerge. To promote collaborative strategizing and accelerated technology adoption, thereby helping businesses maintain their competitive edge, DCD>New York, a yearly event, brings together the data center and cloud ecosystem under one roof. Now in its 17th year, DCD>New York 2019 was attended by over 2,000 industry insiders.

On April 9, 2019, DCD>NY attendees were welcomed by George Rockett, CEO & Founder of DatacenterDynamics. On tap for this year’s event were topics such as digital transformation, the edge, efficient and sustainable infrastructure, hybrid IT planning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and more.

Rajiv Rao from the New York State Office of Information Technology Services kicked off the proceedings with his keynote, providing insight into how New York State’s technology infrastructure has consolidated. He explained how the market has moved from 53 data centers to just two state-of-the-art facilities operated centrally by the State’s Office of Information Technology Services. While the data collection process was once fractured, this consolidation allows the agency to more efficiently collect cyber data (over 7.2 million events a day) and monitor for potential threats.

Following the keynote was a great panel discussion that looked at how New York is responding to the Northern Virginia effect. The panel, which consisted of industry thought leaders from CBRE, DataGyrd, STACK Infrastructure, and Loudoun County Department of Economic Development, discussed how both states can work together to further facilitate mutual growth. Essentially, New York has the eyeballs but Virginia is where the data goes. In terms of what’s in store for the future, the panelists agreed that this is just the beginning. Overall, it’s important to remain nimble and plugged in, stay optimistic, listen to your customers, and ultimately continue to innovate.    

Additional highlights from DCD>New York were a series of educational panels covering industry trends like smart infrastructure, edge computing, Augmented Reality and energy efficiency. Kevin Brown from Schneider Electric hosted a panel entitled “From Buzzwords to Reality: Managing Edge Data Centers.” From this presentation, we learned that AI will not only enable better data insights, but will also provide even greater value with predictive capabilities. It will also be important to ensure that the industry works ahead to build a talent pool of subject matter experts that are educated in AI, otherwise it will likely just remain a buzzword and not become a reality.

Bruce Taylor from DatacenterDynamics moderated a panel with thought leaders from Wells Fargo, Carbon Relay, CBRE, and Schneider Electric, titled “Man vs. Machine, Can Robots and Humans Collaborate to Manage Facilities?” The overall consensus was that there will be many pitfalls and limitations when deploying robots for positions in which there will need to be a high level of collaboration. The culture of the company itself will also be a consideration, and businesses will need to investigate how ready their corporate culture is to adopt robotics in the workplace. Regarding overall data center automation and operations training, there are three key points that will largely impact mentality: acceptance that AI is coming, proven case studies to build the case for broader adoption, and an overall willingness to collaborate.  

Regardless of what the future holds, the industry can agree that the coming years will bring better and brighter technologies that will springboard us into a new era of capabilities. Although getting there may take some time and a lot of effort, collaborative work at the intersection of the present and the future will be the key to ensuring a seamless industry transition.