Digital Realty to build 48 MW data centre in Silicon Valley
San Francisco based data centre operator is expanding its capacity in the heart of Silicon Valley. On Thursday, the company announced plans to construct a 430,000 square foot, four-storey hyperscale data centre.
The facility will, upon completion, add a further 48 MW of capacity to Digital Realty’s Santa Clara connected campus, in response to growing global demand for the digital infrastructure to support Industry 4.0.
The investment will likely be seen as good news by Californian tech firms and government bodies, considering Digital Realty's recent decision to move its corporate headquarters to Austin, Texas - part of a trend that's sparked general concern for California's future as the home of US tech. Continued digital infrastructure investment from Digital Realty points to the firm's relationship with California being far from moribund.
Digital Realty plans for the project to support the digital strategies of Bay Area enterprises by providing increased hosting capabilities and interconnection - including direct access to Amazon Web Service and IBM Cloud.
“We are committed to providing our Bay Area customers and partners a future growth path that will overcome data gravity barriers and support their digital ambitions,” said Tony Bishop, Digital Realty Senior Vice President, Platform, Growth & Marketing.
“Today’s announcement marks another milestone on the roadmap for extending the global reach of PlatformDIGITAL and will spur continued opportunities for innovation at the heart of the vibrant tech community in Silicon Valley.”
Digital Realty is also interconnecting its Santa Clara campus with those in Oakland and Sanfrancisco by means of a ring of dark fibre running through some of California’s most densely populated and heavily digitalised urban areas. “As a result, enterprises deploying critical infrastructure at the new facility will be just a cross-connect away from any other on Digital Realty’s Bay Area connected campuses,” said a company spokesperson on Thursday.
Keeping it Green
The new facility is being designed in keeping with Digital Realty’s stringent sustainability standards.
Saratoga-based real estate developer, Pelio & Associates, which focuses on data centre development, is partnering with Digital Realty on the project. With their assistance, the new data centre will reportedly be built using recycled concrete and steel, and is aiming to meet LEED Gold energy efficiency standards.
The facility will also be equipped with electric vehicle charging ports for its staff, and be equipped with rooftop photovoltaic arrays in order to reduce its drain on the California grid. Digital Realty has also confirmed that the new data centre, along with the rest of its Santa Clara campus, will be participating in an ongoing partnership with Nalco Water announced in 2019. The project aims to reduce Digital Realty's impact on the Silicon Valley potable watershed by 10mn gallons annually.
"We believe being a responsible corporate citizen entails evaluating the environmental footprint of our data centers and taking the steps to continuously improve," said Danny Lane, senior vice president, Global Operations, for Digital Realty.
Equinix: Digital leaders expect changes to working patterns
A global report released by Equinix has revealed that digital leaders expect long-term changes to the way people work.
As part of the report, the data infrastructure company surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers from several different businesses spanning 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. The study also highlighted the biggest technology trends affecting global businesses and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted digital infrastructure plans.
Talking about companies’ expansion strategies, Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Equinix, said: “Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in.
“Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organizations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world”, she said.
The report drew the following conclusions:
- 64% of the 2,600 digital leaders surveyed believed there will be “long-term changes to both how and where people will work in the future.
- 57% of global companies intend to expand into new regions despite the effects of the pandemic
- 51% of businesses worldwide say they have rearchitected their IT infrastructure so that it can meet the demands of remote and hybrid working. Digital transformation has also been accelerated due to an increase in businesses’ technology budgets.
How might digital transformation be affected post-pandemic?
COVID-19 has demanded that companies make several changes to the way that they operate, including digital transformation. According to the study, 47% of those surveyed reported that they have accelerated their digital transformation plans because of the Coronavirus pandemic. A further 42% of organisations said their budgets have increased to keep up with the growth of digital transformation.
Another change in adapting to the pandemic was to businesses’ IT strategies with six in 10 companies saying that it has been revised in response to the situation. 58% said they are looking to invest in technology to “improve agility’ post-COVID.
When asked about their priorities for their digital strategy, 80% of respondents said that digitising their infrastructure was of utmost importance, while 57% viewed interconnection as a ‘key facilitator’ of digital transformation.
"This increasing focus on digitization and expansion is one of the reasons why Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth. We completed 16 new expansions in 2020—our most active build year ever—and expect to continue to evolve Platform Equinix to support our customers as they continue on their digital transformation journey”, said Claire Macland.
Potential concerns disperse over expansion plans being halted by COVID-19
The study has also revealed that organisations’ previous concerns that the pandemic will negatively affect their business expansion plans have been lessened.
57% of businesses have said that they “still have plans” to expand into new regions and of that percentage, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to do so virtually instead of investing in physical IT infrastructure.
The full Equinix report can be found here.