Thought Leadership and Insight from Hydro66

Anne Graf

For this edition, Datacloud spoke to Anne Graf, CEO Hydro66

Datacloud: What do you see for the future of the industry?
As a colocation and wholesale DC operator we are lucky to operate in a very fast-paced industry. The rate of change makes it difficult to speculate with any degree of certainty. Cloud migration and digital transformation is only just beginning.
What we can see from our customer demand is the constant pressure to find new ways to extend their limited IT budgets in the face of exponential data growth, new compliance regimes and ever-wider line of business expectation on their teams. We also see that clients need flexibility both in terms of scale and in time to market. Digital transformation is creating further new pressures on legacy businesses at the same time. For example, finding the best datacenter for HPC is a new challenge.
So we see a future of lower cost datacenters that are also environmentally sustainable at a time of exponential data growth and new applications we can’t fully imagine yet.

Datacloud: What is the biggest opportunity in the industry today?
We think there is a huge opportunity for smart datacenters that create the smallest possible environmental and financial footprint. Datacenters are the 21st Century factory and if we look back in history the big progressions have been linked with economies of scale, optimum infrastructure efficiency and careful choice of location.
The Internet giants and self-build datacenter users like Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook have been working on this problem for many years now and part of the answer is Nordic and similar climates, where intellectual capital, cool climate and massive abundance of cheap green power is available.
Other power intensive industries such as battery production will gravitate to this region, and colocation and wholesale datacenters that have a head start will be well placed to succeed.

Datacloud: What's one of your goals for the next year and how do you expect to achieve it?
We have already demonstrated the market demand is there for low cost, efficient and green colocation and wholesale datacenter space. In less than 2 years we have sold 2/3rds of our initial 3.6 MW build. Over the next 12 months we expect to achieve a much faster rate of growth as more companies discover for themselves why the Nordics is the perfect datacenter location. Being located on a 45 MW site and on the main fiber trunks in Sweden is a golden opportunity for us and our clients - we aim to maximise that.

Datacloud: What do you think matters most in the development of the industry and its effect on business and society?
We believe the environmental challenges faced by humanity are the greatest of our era. Also, we believe that the exponential growth of innovative IT is a force for good. And we believe the world needs new answers for new problems.
The current model for how to process and store data is broken. Yet the majority of compute and store takes place in ultra-expensive city center locations where dirty, expensive, constrained, unreliable utility power grids are the norm. Over the last 20 years, datacenter design orthodoxy has coalesced around standard guidelines that assume an unreliable utility grid. We know that assumption can be wrong.
Add to this falling telecoms prices (-20% year on year, every year) and it no longer makes any sense to build scale datacenters in city centers.
Environmental leaders like Facebook, Google and Apple have reasoned this out. They have already built hyper-scale data centre facilities in cool-climate regions, beside vast electrical grids which are highly reliable, green and at ultra-low power prices. But with "non-standard" infrastructure designs.
Every company in the world has more and more data to process, analyze and store. This data needs to be handled in the most sustainable way possible – financially and environmentally. Forward-thinking companies have already optimized different classes of hosting environments to their applications and customer requirements. Whilst public cloud is a step change in efficiency and cost saving, colocation hosting is the next big frontier for change.

Hydro66 will be at the Datacloud Europe 2017 congress in Monaco June 6-8th. Meet them there