“The most engaging virtual event the sector’s ever seen”

Following the inaugural virtual event in May, Data Centre Magazine looks back on the highlights from Data Centre LIVE 2023

Back in May, we launched our inaugural Data Centre LIVE event, which delved into the depths of all things data centres, cloud and digital transformation.

A memorable day, there was an eager atmosphere as speakers, panellists and fireside hosts took to our virtual stages to share their expertise and wisdom on the data centre industry and hot topics impacting the sector.

Featured guests - including VMware’s Vittorio Viarengo, NTT’s Marientina Laina and Schneider Electric’s Steven Brown - were on the pulse and interacting with participants as a constant stream of interaction from our engaged virtual audience — wherever they were in the world — trickled in, amplifying the conversations on data, cloud and 5G.

Also joining the lineup were InfraPrime’s Susanna Kass, who led both a solo keynote on Sustainable Innovation in Data Centres and participated in the Sustainable Data Centres Forum, and Jon Eaves of Edge Centres who led The Edge Computing Forum.

A gathering of leading minds

Neil Perry, who hosted Virtual Stage One across the day-long event, says the most exciting aspect of our virtual events series is how it brings people together from all over the world and from a broad scope of industries.

“The barriers of actually attending an in-person event are removed, meaning you can get input, insight and inspiration from a diverse collection of speakers and delegates.  Over the course of the day certain themes really came to the forefront, such as the passion in the industry to make tangible changes in the field of sustainability while not compromising on performance.”

Stage Two host Tom Swallow moderated conversations across a diverse range of topics, including The Multi-Cloud Forum and Predictions for the Metaverse with Nina Jane Patel, and said that the event’s ability to bridge the gap between speakers and attendees was beneficial to all involved.

"While nothing beats an in-person conversation, it was great to spend some time talking with executives about the opportunities in the data centre industry,” he says. 

“When it comes to sustainability, data centre organisations are growing increasingly persistent with their efforts to provoke or maintain climate-neutral practices, and it's very valuable for the audience to hear how the leading minds are doing things."

Feedback on the event has been equally complimentary. One attendee says that Data Centre LIVE was “one of the most engaging and interactive virtual events the sector’s seen,” with the sentiment reviewed by delegate Laina taking to LinkedIn to express how she thoroughly enjoyed her discussion on DE&I, which she highlighted as a very important topic, alongside Marc Garner of Schneider Electric and MiCiM’s Sophia Flucker

Data Centre LIVE: Sustainability at the heart of all elements of the sector

With 15 stellar sessions across the day, favourites include Michael Ortiz’s session on The Impact of Generative AI on the Data Centre Industry and Energy, Innovation and The Route to Net-Zero, facilitated by Ark Data CentresPip Squire.

“Sustainability has been the core of our business from the beginning,” Squire said in his opening remarks, highlighting how since Ark’s inception in 2005, the company has forged a path toward a greener future in an industry historically notoriously inefficient.

He framed how the data centre industry steered away from energy-guzzling facilities to efficient powerhouses, and that the sector has long been committed to ensuring sustainability and efficiency —acknowledging that, although many older facilities were designed and constructed without sustainability in mind, the future is laser-focused on carbon neutrality goals.

And Kass’ keynote also helped map out a path for the industry to be as green as possible, rallying support and momentum for the cause — highlighting that the road to net zero can only be achieved by working together.

At the start of her session, she says: “I hope to inspire you to connect, to collaborate — not to work on a problem by yourself, but really share the journey that you are taking in sustainability towards a carbon-free future and for the social benefits of our people. 

“Think 50 years from now, not just 2025 or 2030 when you reach your goal. Think of the pathway that you're going to pave for the future generation to walk on. Think about our planet in 50 years from now, that it should be better than what it is today. And how do we also scale to growth in our earth life with profit? That is extremely important as an instrument to continue to propel our success.”

The overwhelming consensus, and what bound every person involved in Data Centre LIVE, is the unity and passion for the data centre industry. All participants — whether speakers, audience members or the Data Centre Magazine crew — are joined in the desire to celebrate the industry’s success and action change to make it more inclusive, forward-thinking, adaptable and future proof for the benefit of all.

Aside from the zeal for the industry — which is instrumental to the prosperity of any event — what is the key to Data Centre LIVE’s success? Perry says its the level of engagement from the delegates joining us across the two stages on the day. 

He adds: “At Data Centre LIVE the number of questions on comments that came through to me in the studio was so encouraging. It gives the host a whole variety of opinions and thoughts to draw on from a range of outlooks and backgrounds from across the globe to make the conversation as inclusive as possible. The more questions you can integrate into the discussions the richer the experience for everyone involved in the audience but also for the speakers on the virtual stage.”

BizClik’s next event is Sustainability LIVE London on Wednesday, 6th September. Get your free pass here.


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