Vertiv invests €10mn in modular data centre factory
UK-based data centre operator, Vertiv, is looking to capitalise on a growing trend throughout the industry of increased demand for modular, plug-and-play prefabricated data centre designs. The company announced last week that it is investing €10mn into the construction of a new factory in Rugvica, Croatia to support its integrated modular solutions business throughout EMEA.
Giordano Albertazzi, Vertiv’s president of EMEA operations, explained that, while “We hear a lot about IT trends and the upcoming advances in technologies such as of 5G, IoT, and AI,” there is a lack of discourse surrounding “the innovative physical infrastructure that’s behind it.”
Albertazzi added: “We are seeing strong growth in the adoption of prefabricated modular solutions to support these new technologies, and as market leaders we are investing both in capacity and innovation to continue to meet our customers’ needs and stay ahead of the curve.”
The new site, Albertazzi continued, will allow Vertiv to better cater to the increased demand for more modular data centre designs, and is “reflective” of Vertiv’s continued investment in the markets in which it operates.
Viktor Petik, VP for Vertiv’s IMS business in EMEA, added that its projects throughout EMEA have created 150 jobs in the past year, mostly filled by “engineering or skilled professionals from this region.”
Petik added: “The Rugvica factory boasts all the latest technologies, production processes, tools and testing labs. The facility is designed to provide a complete range of prefabricated modular solutions, from cable landing stations powering the internet and connecting geographies, to bespoke data centre building blocks.”
The prefabricated data centre modules produced by the Rugvica factory will reportedly range from IT and facility-specific designs - intended to slot into existing data centre architectures to boost performance and capacity - to all-in-one elements containing cooling, power and computing hardware that allow for a more “plug-and-play” approach. These all in one systems - which are likely to be built on a micro-scale and fit inside single rooms or shipping containers, have applications for the “education, industrial, and healthcare” industries, “as well as remote and harsh environments.”
By selling complete, closed data centre modules, Vertiv’s press team adds that the set-up time - as well as the initial CapEx - for these modules will be significantly reduced.
“Wherever there is a high density of data processing, there will be a demand for edge computing. That demand, and scale, will necessitate more resilient and intelligent edge infrastructure,” said Albertazzi in an earlier interview with Data Centre Magazine. “We are seeing expansion of the edge in many countries and that will eventually extend to emerging markets. Edge deployments are also closely aligned to other key trends such as 5G and environmental sustainability, and the integration of edge sites with energy grids can support the transition towards renewables.”
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.