Taking Hyper-scale to the Edge

The “move to digital business” predicted by Gartner affects no one more profoundly than hyper-scale companies. Alongside a rise in demand for data centers at the edge, it is forcing hyper-scale companies to change the way they think about their data center strategy. Here, learn how Aligned Data Centers helps.

“We’ve begun the move to digital business, including rich content via mobile devices, where people, their devices and even unattended ‘things’ become actors in transactions.” That’s Gartner analyst Bob Gill in the report Eight Trends Will Shape the Colocation Market in 2016. The move to digital business Gill envisioned is well underway, and it is impacting no one more profoundly than hyper-scale companies – those like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Amazon, among others, who rely on the ability of their architecture to scale appropriately as increased demand is added to the system.

Alongside this move to digital business is another trend that is forcing hyper-scale companies to change the way they think about their data center strategy: growing demand for data centers at the edge. That’s a topic Earl Keisling (CEO of Inertech, an Aligned company) wrote about in a recent article in Data Center Frontier:

“The geography of data center demand is changing. There is rising demand for computational power ‘at the edge’ – among cloud service and content providers like Google, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon and others. They’re looking to deliver content with low latency to customers around the world. Without an edge data center, customers who want to access the content have to get it from the nearest city where it’s cached. The problem with that is distance increases latency, and low latency is becoming more important.”

The move to the edge is a theme echoed by Gartner’s Bob Gill in the 8 Trends report. He writes:

“The topology of networked data centers will move during the next five years from a centralized, ‘mega data center’ approach, to one augmented by multiple, smaller, distributed sources and sinks of content and information, whether located in distributed, enterprise-owned data centers, colocation or the cloud. Although only the largest enterprises or agencies will have the physically distributed, communications-enabled locations to build their own edge sites, whether enterprises choose to build their own edge deployments in colocation centers, or use edge access provided by cloud vendors that they themselves will provide local access through colocation centers, edge-located colocation centers will be used.”

Building and running smaller-scale data centers in edge locations around the world is not something most hyper-scale companies are used to doing. One challenge is deploying power and cooling infrastructure at smaller scale, quickly, around the globe. Another challenge is managing local data center construction labor in many second-tier cities around the world at the same time. It’s simply a different proposition than the one that hyper-scale companies built and perfected their model around.

A hyper-scale model for the edge

What if there were a data center provider that was technology-driven (not real estate driven) with power and cooling infrastructure that delivers the kinds of efficiencies hyper-scale companies have come to expect, stripped of its complexity so it’s easy to implement and manage, scalable in increments large or small, and quickly deployable around the world.

That’s the kind of value that Aligned Data Centers offers to hyper-scale companies looking to deploy data centers at the edge. Here’s how:

Global hyper-scalability

Our data centers are built of infrastructure that is literally hyper-scalable, scaling in increments large or small according to the customer’s demand. No matter the deployment, it is the same components built in a factory and deployed via our rapidly scalable and repeatable model. And power and cooling are built in – we’ve standardized and modularized the power and cooling infrastructure to enable efficient hyper-scale deployments.

That infrastructure is deployable just in time, matching the hyper-scale company’s need to be more agile; we can deploy globally in 8 weeks or less. The scalable build approach allows for significant capital savings and speed to market. Furthermore, the infrastructure is designed to be easily installed; that exponentially reduces the fieldwork required, which de-risks data center deployments in second- and third-tier cities around the world.

Hyper-scale level efficiency in any climate at any load

From day one our cooling infrastructure supports 1 to 25+ kW in any rack, in any climate. It’s efficient even at low loads, regardless of the density, the airflow, and the temperature. It’s the best of both worlds – the efficiency of free cooling with support for mixed densities. Being efficient under all loading conditions in any environment is a very novel feat. Given that hyper-scale companies face highly variable IT loads and need to be “everywhere,” efficiency at any load in any environment is essential.

Traditional cooling systems are often hard-pressed to support the levels of temperature change (∆t) common in a hyper-scale data center. In contrast, the Inertech cooling infrastructure is efficient at all levels of ∆t and all levels of CFM. As a result, the temperature and humidity in the Inertech environment is much more controlled.

Delivering global hyper-scalability and hyper-scale level efficiency in any climate at any load, Aligned Data Centers helps hyper-scale companies meet rising demand for computational power at the edge.

Aligned Data Centers CEO Jakob Carnemark To Deliver The Opening Keynote Address At The DCD Colo+Cloud Conference This Week On September 27 At Intercontinental Dallas


Aligned Data Centers, the first pay-for-use data center provider to offer consumption-based pricing to enterprises, service providers, and governments who require greater control of data center cost and faster time-to-market, announced today that longtime industry veteran and Aligned founder and CEO Jakob Carnemark will deliver the opening keynote address as well as participate on a panel at the 2016 Datacenter Dynamics Colo+Cloud Conference in Dallas, Texas on September 27.

Event Details: 

  • How Cloud Loads and Edge Compute Are Driving the Evolution of the Data Center, Tuesday, September 27, 9:20 a.m. – Keynote Description: The “Storm Track” of cloud loads and edge compute are changing the landscape of the data center industry and require a new way of thinking about reliability, cost and scale. Aligned Data Centers is the first vertically integrated technology company in the wholesale data center space with an innovative business model that creates elastic data centers that dynamically grow with IT loads at reduced costs, higher reliability, and increased efficiency, while reducing the effect on climate change and draw down of natural resources. Carnemark will walk attendees through the forces acting on the industry while also describing how Aligned is driving dramatic innovation in their data center delivery model.
  • Really Big, Audacious Ideas: What Will Multi-Tenant Colo and Cloud Services Data Centers Look Like in 2025? 2035?Tuesday, September 27, 4:20 p.m. – Panel Description: What major trends do we now see that will define the evolution of the multi-tenant colo and cloud services data center? How are network and IT systems architects drawing the blueprints for tomorrow? Will the “Data Center” of the future be abstract, virtual, cloudified? What’s the future of energy, power and thermal management technology? What external market and business factors will drive design transformation? What are savvy investors and developers currently doing to plan for five years from now? Ten years from now? Through the lens of Aligned Data Centers’ transformative resource-conscious “pay-for-use” business model, Carnemark will demonstrate how his company is revolutionizing the industry through ultra-efficient, cost-effective solutions and highly advanced technology that also dramatically reduce environmental impact.

Taking place at the InterContinental Dallas from September 26-27, Datacenter Dynamics Colo+Cloud Conference will spotlight the future of a rapidly expanding data center sector. Through over 40 hours of panel discussions featuring leading industry professionals, Colo+Cloud will provide business, operations and technology executives the insight necessary to thrive and remain relevant in an ever-evolving market.

About DCD Colo+Cloud 
DCD Colo+Cloud will bring together senior business, operations and technology professionals from the world’s major colocation, cloud, telecoms and other data center and managed service providers to discuss the future of this rapidly growing data center sector. IoT, Smart Cities, Big Data and Clouds are driving the industry forward whilst IaaS in all its forms is providing end-user organizations with even more ways to purchase and provision new infrastructure capacity. The conversation at Colo+Cloud will focus on how data center services companies must evolve to be customer-centric and technology relevant.

Media Contact

Jonathan Pappas

[email protected]

What’s the Role of DCIM in Your Data Center?

September 21, 2016

The role of DCIM is growing among colocation providers, says Gartner analyst Bob Gill. Here, learn the internal and external roles of Energy Metrics at Aligned Data Centers.

“The role of DCIM is growing among colocation providers,” says Gartner analyst Bob Gill in the report Eight Trends Will Shape the Colocation Market in 2016. Gill writes about the traditional internal role of DCIM, as a management tool for data center service providers, and the growing external role of DCIM – as a tool for data center customers.

The role of “DCIM” at Aligned Data Centers

At Aligned Data Centers the infrastructure management software that helps deliver a data center responsive to customers’ IT requirements and business needs is from Energy Metrics, also part of the Aligned platform. Energy Metrics was actually the first of the Aligned companies, formed because its founders saw how a lack of transparency into data center operations increased risk and reduced efficiency.

Energy Metrics aggregates, indexes, and presents infrastructure data primed for decision-making. The software shares some features with both a building management system and a traditional DCIM system, but it is not a marginal improvement on either of those tools. Instead, Energy Metrics represents a new solution for the data center challenges that are not adequately addressed by BMS or DCIM tools.

One of the factors that make Energy Metrics uniquely able to actually resolve those challenges is our coverage across all data center systems and software tools – and our ability to unify the data from those disparate sources. We built a unifying architecture that pulls in data from all systems, correlates the data, and indexes it so users can query it. Users can see at any individual system or a single dashboard that presents information across systems, and even across data center sites.

Another factor that makes Energy Metrics uniquely able to resolve the data center challenges that are not adequately addressed by BMS or DCIM tools is the scalability and cost effectiveness of the platform. Energy Metrics collects and stores huge amounts of data very cost effectively. Algorithms parse the data to generate insights and analytics engine enables enhanced diagnostics.

Energy Metrics plays an internal role for customers like the top 10 financial institution where the transparency that Energy Metrics enabled for data center managers saved the bank $150 million. The software also plays a role at Aligned Data Centers, where it enables us to deliver an ultra-reliable, ultra-efficient, ultra-flexible data center service.

And, Energy Metrics plays what Gill refers to as an “external” role for our customers colocated at Aligned Data Centers.

“Externally offered DCIM services are consumed by the customers, to allow them better visibility into the performance of their subsets of space. These may include a simple portal for monitoring and alerts, or access to controlling systems that affect the customers’ space, for the purposes of monitoring, troubleshooting, tracking service-level agreements, and, most importantly, monitoring and balancing the consumption of power.”

– Gartner analyst Bob Gill

The benefits of Energy Metrics for Aligned Data Centers

Aligned Data Centers customers get everything Gill mentioned, and then some.

  1. A holistic view to enable better decision-making. One of the key differentiators of Energy Metrics is its ability to cross disparate systems, gather data, aggregate it, index it, and present it as actionable insight. We get that benefit in our own internal use of Energy Metrics, and our customers get the benefit through the client portal, which aggregates the data and presents actionable insights in a very easy-to-digest dashboard.
  2. Transparency into utilization, which allows customers to see infrastructure cost of each application. This is a topic we’ll be writing about later this month. The ability to tie the revenue a particular application generates to the cost of running it is increasingly valuable in a world in which more and more business output is produced in a data center rather than a factory.
  3. Predictive analytics that enables customers to know when it’s time to add new capacity. Historical data and a powerful analytics engine enable trend analysis and predictive analytics so customers can benchmark current operations and plan for future capacity needs – knowing when is the time to scale, and where to scale. Infrastructure managers can be confident that the peak demand of the equipment is captured.

As Gartner predicted, the role of DCIM has indeed evolved over the course of the year. We’re proud to be well out in front of that evolution because as they say “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” And you can’t optimize what you can’t manage.

20-Year Exemption from Sales Tax Can Mean Millions in Savings

At Aligned in Phoenix, colocation customers get a 20-year sales tax exemption for the purchase of data center equipment. It’s yet another reason why Phoenix is a top-ten data center market. Learn about how you could take advantage of the tax exemption.

By David Holub, Director of Platform Services

There are many reasons why Phoenix is one of the top ten multi-tenant data center markets in the U.S. They include the extremely low threat of a natural disaster. The lower-than-average cost of doing business. The low cost of power per kWh compared to other states. The concentration of top-tier telecommunication providers.

And … the sales tax exemption. In Arizona, qualified data center owners, operators, and tenants are exempt from state, county and local Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) and Use Tax (i.e., sales taxes) for purchases of data center equipment.

“Unlike many of the data center tax-incentive bills recently enacted by other states, Arizona’s legislation does not focus solely on big-name single-tenant data center operators, such as Google, Apple or Amazon. These tax breaks are meant to benefit both mega-scale single-tenant projects and companies that provide colocation services out of multi-tenant facilities.”

 Datacenter Dynamics

Aligned in Phoenix is qualified, so customers that contract with us for at least 500 kW per month for 2+ years will get the sales tax exemption – for 20 years. That’s double the amount of time most eligible data centers and their tenants are exempt. We get 20 years because our facility is a sustainable redevelopment project; the 550,000 sq. ft., 62 MW data center had been a Honeywell manufacturing facility, and we’ve renovated it to a certified green standard.

For us, the exemption provides savings on purchases of equipment ranging from generators to network switches. For our customers, the exemption provides savings on purchases of equipment ranging from servers to monitoring software – substantially reducing the total cost associated with colocation at Aligned in Phoenix.

The savings can be quite significant. Say you’re contracting for 1 MW of power. It’s an expansion of your data center footprint, so you have to buy new servers, racks, chassis, cables, etc. Back-of-the-envelope, that equipment totals $20 million. So just at the outset, you’re saving $1.7 million that you would have paid in sales tax. Then assume you stay in the data center for 15 years and you refresh your equipment twice in that period. Now you’ve saved $5.1 million.

Tweet: 20 year exemption from sales tax is millions in savings for our colocation customers in Arizona #yesphx via @alignedenergy

That’s a lot of money you can put to productive use within the organization. And it’s not even counting the significant power cost savings associated with our guaranteed 1.15 PUE. And the capital deferment associated with our consumption-based pricing model. All because you’ve colocated with Aligned in Phoenix.

Explore all the benefits of Aligned colocation facility in Phoenix

The Arizona data center sales tax exemption in brief

  • Qualified data center owners, operators, and tenants are exempt from sales taxes on purchases of data center equipment
  • Because Aligned’s Phoenix facility is a “sustainable redevelopment project” we get the exemption for 20 years – and so do our customers
  • Colocation tenants get the sales tax exemption if they contract with a qualified data center for at least 500 kW per month for 2+ years

Interested in learning more about how you can take advantage of the Arizona sales tax exemption?

Talk with one of our sales engineers: call 800.232.2817 or email [email protected]