Data Center POST had the opportunity to connect with Bill Thomson, VP of Marketing & Product Management for DC BLOX, a leading multi-tenant data center operator in the Southeastern US. With abundant experience in the technology industry, Thomson is a seasoned veteran who has successfully developed and marketed numerous enterprise software, Software-as-a-Service, and cloud infrastructure products tailored for B2B markets. Motivated by his passion for establishing new technology products and service businesses, Thomson shares valuable insights into the future of the industry in anticipation of the upcoming PTC’24 conference.
Data Center Post (DCP) Question: PTC’s Annual Conference is a strategic springboard for the global communications industry, and this year is no different. How is your business addressing AI needs, keeping in mind the upcoming rules and risks associated with AI?
Bill Thomson (BT) Answer: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very important area of technology that has and will continue to transform industries. Of course, as the technology matures and the demand for AI applications continues to increase, foundational digital infrastructure will need to rapidly evolve to accommodate AI’s demanding requirements. DC BLOX has already begun to address these fast-growing needs. First, we have developed a high-density data hall design that can be added on to any of our colocation data centers across our markets. The design accommodates cabinets that have more than 4 times the density of our standard cabinets, making them highly suitable for high-performance computing (HPC) applications. In addition, DC BLOX has acquired land and reserved power in four locations across the Southeast region in preparation for the large-scale, power-hungry applications expected of our prospective tenants. Finally, DC BLOX has acquired the capability to build and operate new dark fiber networks which will be a critical component of any AI-based solutions running in our data centers.
DCP Q: At PTC’24 there will be a few sessions focusing on the status and opportunities in the telecom market. From telecom equipment, services, and wireless communication, which area of the industry does your company focus on, and where do you see the industry heading in the next 5-10 years?
BT A: Data center and telecom operators have always maintained a symbiotic relationship. DC BLOX’s 5 carrier-neutral data centers offer the ability, using our dedicated, private, regional network, to enable any of the customers across our footprint to subscribe to the services of any carrier built into any of our data centers. Since all our facilities are regionally located, we effectively look like a single data center across multiple locations, and that is also a benefit to our carrier partners. DC BLOX has also observed that the carrier-built Internet of the past is no longer sufficient, from location and capacity terms, to meet the needs of our collective digital future. New network routes will need to be built to accommodate the vast data traffic generated from the largest content, public infrastructure, and application providers. New providers will emerge outside of telecom that will specialize in a region or industry, or provide integrated services to the hyperscalers and other very large-scale tech companies. Our company has acquired the ability to build new dark fiber routes connected to our data center locations and to the cable landing station in Myrtle Beach, SC offering new high-capacity network infrastructure to move data globally from the coming wave of providers into the region.
DCP Q: At PTC’24, on January 23, 2024, the Infrastructure Builders panel will discuss how the world will look in 2033 (10 years), when we are one-third of the way through the digital century. How are you approaching projects and planning for future growth with the shifting utilization of digital infrastructure?
BT A: DC BLOX is planning for meteoric digital infrastructure growth in the Southeast region. We are anticipating the needs of future customers by acquiring new land and reserving power to accommodate the rapid migration to the region. With enterprises continuing to digitally transform their business, high-tech and AI companies needing available whitespace quickly, and hyperscalers expanding their cloud regions and bringing their social media apps closer to their consumers, DC BLOX is repositioning itself to meet these emerging needs by continuing to offer retail colocation at the edge, wholesale data halls built onto all our existing sites (5 locations), and new locations with the space and power needed for the largest digital applications (4 locations). In addition, the expansion of our network connectivity services (lit services) across the region and our ability to build new dark fiber routes to all locations positions our company to accommodate the rapid regional growth and market shifts.
DCP Q: What core markets do you operate in and what are the key opportunities / challenges in these markets and how are you adapting to address them?
BT A: DC BLOX has built colocation data centers in Birmingham, AL, Chattanooga, TN, Greenville, SC, and Huntsville, AL. Our new cable landing station in Myrtle Beach, SC accommodates both subsea cable operators as well as local colocation customers. We have always believed that these smaller, growing cities have had the same need for local, high-capacity digital infrastructure as the major NFL cities, they just have had nobody invest in their markets to serve them (until DC BLOX). Since these all might be considered “edge” markets, DC BLOX has developed a modular design that enables the expansion of capacity by building new data halls as demand requires. The ability to build new data halls also allows us to customize a new data hall for larger wholesale enterprise customers. Our special high-density design can also be added to accommodate local demand for HPC applications. In addition, Atlanta has recently become a major data center target market due to the affordability of land and the availability of power (compared to existing markets like NoVA for example). DC BLOX is acquiring land and reserving power (4 markets to date) to accommodate the seemingly insatiable needs for new digital infrastructure in the region.
DCP Q: PTC’24 is the 46th annual PTC Conference. During this four-day event, how can people meet or learn more about you (or after PTC’24)?
BT A: For anyone who would like to meet with us at PTC’24 please complete this form.
To learn more about PTC’24, please visit: www.ptc.org/ptc24. The event takes place January 21-24, 2024 in Honolulu, HI – registration is still open for those interested in attending.
To meet with DC BLOX at PTC’24 you can request a meeting here.
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