Mar 3, 2021

Quantum Loophole wants to go beyond hyperscale

data centre
Harry Menear
4 min
With a veteran executive team and a roadmap of epic proportions, data centre startup Quantum Loophole wants to change the face of the industry
With a veteran executive team and a roadmap of epic proportions, data centre startup Quantum Loophole wants to change the face of the industry...

Texas-based startup Quantum Loop wants to change the way that we design and build data centres forever. It’s a lofty ambition. But, with the company’s impressive $13mn seed funding round and the recent addition of ex-CyrusOne CEO, Gary Wojtaszek, to its leadership team, it’s off to a promising start. 

Quantum Loophole was founded in 2020 and is currently headquartered in Austin, one of the US’ fastest-growing data centre clusters. Details about the company’s first development are scarce, but Quantum Loophole is promising more information on the project during Q3 of this year. 

Big plans

With the scale of both data centre construction and demand growing so rapidly around the world, Quantum Loophole’s plan is to meet massive demand with even bigger supply, delivered in a way that can anticipate and grow with the changing needs of the industry, while at the same time harnessing economies of scale and cutting edge construction techniques to improve sustainability and efficiency. 

The speed and scale of development in the hyperscale sector requires a new approach, Quantum Loophole believes - a paradigm shift in the way that real estate is purchased, organised and built upon. 

“We have re-imagined the way data centres can be developed in concert with natural resources for sustainability within the industry and our planet,” commented Josh Snowhorn, the company’s founder, CEO on the announcement of the seed funding round. 

“Incorporating an ethically-planned and community-centric design that puts sustainability at the forefront, our master plan data centre cities are designed to offer Gigawatt levels of critical power, leverage cutting-edge technology to deliver connectivity seamlessly and immediately, and offer mass scale fiber to nearby networking hubs.”  

The new development could well dwarf some of the world’s largest data centre campuses, with Snowhorn hinting that it will cover more than 2,000 acres of land and require access to more than a gigawatt of energy, which he adds will be sustainably sourced. 

These new “city-scale” campuses won’t be exclusive to Quantum Loophole’s own data centres (even though Snowhorn says they can knock up a built-to-suit 600,000 square foot data centre with the snap of a client’s fingers). In an interview with Data Centre Frontier, Snowhorn mentioned that their role will be to provide massive amounts of land, energy and fibre connectivity to nearby hubs. “It’s in our plans to provide service for everyone, so if Digital Realty or Equinix want to put a big building on our campus, we’re glad to work with them,” said Snowhorn. “Our goal is to reduce costs for everyone.”

Welcome aboard

Snowhorn himself is coming to this monumental undertaking with an impressive resume under his belt. Across a 20+ year career, he has worked in some of the most innovative companies throughout the communications sector, and his leadership team’s past experiences include roles at Microsoft, Apple, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cincinnati Bell, CyrusOne, Deloitte, PwC, Terremark, Verizon and Yahoo. 

This week, however, Quantum Loophole announced its most prestigious hire to date. 

Gary Wojtaszek, ex-CEO of leading data centre REIT CyrusOne, will be joining Quantum Loophole’s board of directors. Wojtaszek brings with him an impressive track record of taking ambitious data centre upstarts and turning them into a part of the establishment. He grew CyrusOne into one of the world’s largest REITs, with a network of 45 facilities across the US, Latin America, Europe, and led the company’s REIT conversion and IPO spin-off of CyrusOne, which turned a $525mn investment into a $12bn company. 

“I’m excited to join Quantum Loophole’s Board of Directors under the leadership of Josh Snowhorn, a pioneer and serial entrepreneur who after joining Terremark as one of the first employees, helped launch CyusOne and founded EdgeMicro before starting this current venture,” commented Wojtaszek on Tuesday. 

“The data centre industry is growing quickly; however, it is under tremendous pricing pressure. Most data centre designs being deployed today are too costly and inefficient and will be challenged to meet the computing power needs required to support the shift towards AI focused data centres. By contrast, Josh’s approach to building ‘data centre cities’ that are ethically planned with sustainable power practices is groundbreaking. His approach of marrying massively scaled facilities with shared resource allocation should result in the lowest cost data centres in the country and I’m excited to be a part of this team, which will reshape the way data centres are planned, deployed, and managed.”

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Jun 20, 2021

Schneider Electric reveals new IT Innovation report

3 min
Schneider Electric has released the Digital Economy and Climate Impact report revealing new innovations for sustainability and resiliency in data centres

Schneider Electric has released a new IT innovations report titled “Digital Economy and Climate Impact”, with the aim of gaining an understanding of how digitised and smart applications will be powered in the future. The company says that the report predicts that IT sector-related electricity demand is expected to increase by almost 50% by 2030. 

Despite this, the report also shows that emissions would not increase by more than 26% by the same year, following the decarbonisation of the electricity system. In an attempt to reduce this rise in emissions the Schneider Electric TM Sustainability Research Institute recommends continued efforts in achieving efficiencies on the IT and energy sides at both the component and system levels. 

The report highlights how the rise of edge computing technologies require a “specific focus” due to these systems being less efficient than hyperscale data centres. “When the world locked down, it also logged on and internet traffic soared,” said Pankaj Sharma, EVP, Secure Power, Schneider Electric. 

“It’s misleading to assume that digital activity will inevitably result in a deeply problematic increase in CO2 emissions. The analysis from the Schneider Electric Sustainability Institute puts to rest many of the worst-case scenario claims predicting IT-related electricity use will double every five years. That said, as an industry, we must remain vigilant in finding new sources of sustainability gains while ensuring resiliency as digital keeps life moving forward”, he added. 

As well as the release of the report, Schneider Electric also announced several updates to its EcoStruxure IT data center infrastructure management software, Galaxy VL 3-phase uninterruptable power supply (UPS), introducing an industry-leading single-phase UPS, the APC™ Smart-UPS™ Ultra. All introductions are designed to advance the industry forward in meeting sustainability goals while increasing the resiliency of IT and data centre infrastructure, the company said. 

Managing hybrid data center and edge IT environments

Also showcased in Schneider Electric’s report are the increasing demands on digital consumption. According to the company, these create a more complex hybrid environment inclusive of enterprise, cloud, and edge data centres. Addressing the unique management challenges of a hybrid IT environment, Schneider Electric has announced updates to its EcoStruxure IT software to increase efficiency and resiliency, including:

  • Increased remote management capabilities: New granular remote device configuration features enable users to change configurations on one or more devices – including the new Galaxy VL and APC Smart-UPS Ultra single-phase UPS units – from one centralised platform with EcoStruxure IT Expert. This update, combined with previously released software insights on device security health, enables the user to identify faulty devices or configurations and address them in a matter of clicks, keeping their hybrid IT environment secure.
  • Improved environmental monitoring: Environmental monitoring systems ensure users have eyes and ears on data centre and IT deployments from anywhere, anytime. With this update, users can push mass configurations remotely for NetBotz cameras 750 and 755 quickly and efficiently increasing security across the critical infrastructure.
  • Enhanced remote capacity modeling and planning: With EcoStruxure IT Advisor’s new capabilities, users can remotely compare an unlimited number of racks and easily identify available capacity, view what assets are deployed and their dependencies.

Sharma concluded: “Schneider Electric has been focused on sustainability for the past 15 years and was recently named the most sustainable corporation in the world. We have embraced the mindset that future innovation will deliver better efficiency across the broader connectivity landscape. By making smart intentional choices, our industry can help mitigate how much electricity and emissions result from the rising appetite for digital technologies”.

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