Thought Leadership and Insight from to Justin Jenkins, CEO, Next Generation Data

Justin Jenkins

For this edition of the Clouds Ahead interview series, Datacloud Global spoke to Justin Jenkins, CEO Next Generation Data

Datacloud: What are some of the key trends and challenges in the current global market?

There are several, and they are many and varied.

Hyperscale deals are getting bigger and there seems to be no end in sight to the demand for suitable hyperscale centres – demand in the sector through 2019/20 could easily amount to the totals deployed to date in Hyperscale. Scale, speed-to-market and pricing will be key, but as the intensity increases and the Hyperscalers deepen their market penetration it will test the European DC operators to see who can turn on significant capacity quickly.

Scale, cost of capital and rolled-up construction costs will be key to pricing in the sector driving advantage to those with scale in their operations and those who can deliver ‘quality quickly’ via close coupled supply chains. The relentless pressure on cost and speed of construction will continue. This will challenge some operators.

Power and cooling is under pressure too, with an upward trend on rack densities. After much talk and prediction, we’ll see hyperconverged platforms in more widespread use and growth of AI based architectures with specialist processing cores, across multiple segments - all of which point to increased adoption of liquid based cooling over air cooling at the rack.

An omnipresent challenge set to continue is: efficiency. Pressure for facilities to consume renewables as efficiently as possible will increase. There’s still scope for innovation and changed practice on several fronts ranging from better operational practice to optimized asset utilisation through to intelligent management systems. Customers too will have to consider their own operational efficiencies in areas such as % IT load take-up to drive lower PUEs, through to educating users on non-essential data build up and retirement of stored data no longer required.

And finally, whilst enterprises will continue to re-allocate assets across cloud, co-lo and on-prem as they execute hybrid strategies, they will also re-evaluate the extent of assets on prem and their appetite to continue to run systems in-house. Here, enterprises will see the business logic of increasingly relying on 3rd party facilities with a deep understanding of the provision of space, power and cooling given the increasing operational and financial intensity of doing it in-house.

Datacloud: How do you think the future landscape of the cloud, edge and 5G technologies will look like?

The simple answer is that we’re not sure yet on this one, but 2020 will see the first availability of 5G proper and this will help drive real take up of latency sensitive applications and some edge co-location. The extent to which edge is required across the geographies of Europe, versus say the USA, is yet to be seen. What is clear is that the concentration of cloud hyperscale in strategic facilities is set to continue and will be complemented by some edge, (which is an obvious thing to say!) What we will see is changes to network traffic where data thinning will occur, so data doesn’t traverse the network and backhaul costs are lowered.

Datacloud: What areas do you see as primed for IT infrastructure asset expansion?

We don’t see a goldrush in any one direction, in fact IT infrastructure spending will likely be little changed overall. What we are seeing is two things (i) a gradual move of assets off-prem, (ii) a gradual change in infrastructure architectures. To the second point we’re increasingly seeing all-flash platforms with literally no spindles and converged architectures that are tightly integrated, software defined and technology ready e.g. to support containers.

Datacloud: What is one of your goals for the next year and how do you expect to achieve it?

The continued expansion of our Newport Campus is the key Objective for the next twelve months. To facilitate this we have recently acquired additional land for the campus and are currently in planning for this next phase of expansion. Within this we will be able to offer a variety of Build to Order solutions as well as our traditional offerings ranging from colo to wholesale.

Justin Jenkins will be at Datacloud Global Congress in Monaco from 4 to 6 June 2019. Meet him and the team on stand 46!