For this edition of the Clouds Ahead interview series, Datacloud Global spoke to Lutz Schreiber, partner at Eversheds Sutherland, based in Hamburg.
Datacloud: What are some of the key trends and challenges in the current global market?
At one end of the spectrum we are handling a lot of transactions with large global enterprises as they move into the cloud, away from their own data centers (or third party operated colocation facilities) to the large cloud service providers, and at the other end, a continuation of the voracious appetite of the cloud hyperscalers for colocation space and power in deals with data center operators. For data centre operators, the key challenge at present, particularly in the Tier 1 European locations, is the constraint on power capacity for new projects – this is a particular issue in Amsterdam and Dublin, and now also Frankfurt. For the enterprise end users – whether this be directly in their own (or third party operated) data center, or indirectly via contracts with cloud service providers – the biggest challenge is the current regulatory framework specifically for data privacy that is starting to push demand towards for more localised data centre services.
Datacloud: How do you think the future landscape of the cloud, edge and 5G technologies will look like?
Those technologies will be fundamental for all IoT and AI innovation, including driverless cars, global hyperscale cloud models, and big data driven business intelligence. As latency reduces, those technologies will allow almost real time working and communications, irrespective of place and time. The new technologies will allow working in a more seamless technological landscape, irrespective of where the actual data resides or processing activities take place.
The inevitable consequence of this is that data centre businesses will eventually have the ability to relocate to places where energy is cheapest or (if the energy congestion we are currently seeing becomes more acute) easier to access. This will enable the use of more “exotic” data centre locations, such as underwater or in colder regions of the world.
However, this will not happen overnight. The roll out of 5G, that it becomes the global norm will take some time, and countries are moving at different paces. That may become detrimental to business locations which cannot act as agile as others. Germany, for example, may continue to fall behind, if 5G is not be deployed as quickly as in other parts of the world.
Datacloud: What regions do you see as primed for IT infrastructure asset expansion?
I do not see any let-off in the pace of data centre development in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands or Germany, though I do think that this might be tempered by power constraint issues. Just as we have experienced in the Nordics over the last couple of years, we are starting to see projects for expansion into Eastern Europe as demand for cloud and data centre services grows into that region.
Datacloud: What is one of your goals for the next year and how do you expect to achieve it?
As a law firm with an international platform (we are fortunate to have 67 offices across 34 jurisdictions) our focus is on leveraging the relationships across our network, putting landowners in touch with data centre developers and operators, developers and operators in touch with debt and equity, and prospective enterprise end users in touch with data centre operators or other service providers. The opportunities for introductions is endless and our goal is to do what we can to help this sector, and those in it, to thrive.
Lutz Schreiber will be at Datacloud Global Congress in Monaco from 4 to 6 June 2019. Please contact use if you would like to meet him and the Eversheds Sutherland team.