Preparing for a Future You Can’t Even Imagine

August 31, 2017

In Data Center Frontier, our CEO Andrew Schaap writes about mitigating the risk of capacity constraints – today and tomorrow.

Quick take

  • In a recent Data Center Frontier article, Aligned Energy’s CEO explores how cloud service providers and enterprises alike can mitigate the risk of capacity constraints.
  • Having a data center that can deliver capacity fast, scale up, and scale out takes the stress out of data center capacity planning.
  • Then future-proofing doesn’t require overprovisioning capacity to mitigate risk.

We’ve written a lot lately about digital transformation, which IDC has called “the biggest industry shakeout since the Industrial Revolution.” And how the burden of rapid technological advancement falls on the physical infrastructure – the data centers that make up the factory of the digital age.

Very rapid technological change also means that future demand for data center capacity is anybody’s guess. And that makes life challenging for even the most sophisticated capacity planners.

In a recent Data Center Frontier Voices of the Industry article, Aligned Energy’s CEO Andrew Schaap explores how cloud service providers and enterprises alike can overcome those challenges, and mitigate the risk of capacity constraints today and into the future.

“The burden of rapid technological advancement falls on the data centers that make up the factory of the digital age.” – Click to Tweet

The capacity planning challenge

A large part of the challenge of preparing for a future you can’t even imagine stems from the fact that technology advances much more rapidly than the physical infrastructure supporting it. A server is a two-or three-zero capital expense with a lifecycle of 3-5 years. Data centers, which cost far more, carry a lease term or depreciation schedule of 15-30 years.

Solving the challenge

Solving the challenge is about mitigating the risk of not being able to meet the needs of the business. And it requires a data center partner that can deliver net new capacity quickly and scale existing deployments up and out.

Having a data center partner that can deliver capacity fast, scale up, and scale out takes the stress out of data center capacity planning. When data center infrastructure is designed to scale up and out, then future-proofing doesn’t require overprovisioning capacity to mitigate risk.

“When a data center is designed to scale up and out, then future-proofing doesn’t require overprovisioning capacity to mitigate risk.” –  Click to Tweet

The right partner is an adaptive data center, which is future-proof. It is a data center able to match the changing needs of its clients – a data center that can quickly and efficiently deliver new capacity and quickly and efficiently add capacity to existing deployments.

Read more about how Aligned Energy is that partner in Preparing for a Future You Can’t Even Imagine by CEO Andrew Schaap.

Solving the Capacity Challenge

August 24, 2017

For many tech leaders, delivering capacity quickly and efficiently – today and tomorrow – is the #1 challenge. We help them solve it.

Quick take

  • Solving today’s capacity challenges is about mitigating the risk of not being able to support the needs of the business.
  • Solving tomorrow’s capacity challenges is about future-proofing current data center deployments against changes in IT requirements that will arise during the term of the lease as well as deploying new capacity at any scale around the world.
  • At Aligned Energy, we respond to both the near-term challenges and the longer-term challenges with an adaptive data center approach.

“How do I get capacity as fast as possible, where I need it, whenever I need it, at the scale I need to keep the business going?” It’s a question we hear often from IT infrastructure leaders at technology companies and enterprises alike. For many of them, delivering capacity quickly and efficiently – today and tomorrow – is the #1 challenge they face.

“Capacity demand that is huge (and rising fast), unpredictable, in new markets, and variable challenges even the most sophisticated capacity planning models.” – Click to Tweet

Overcoming the capacity challenge is the subject of a new Aligned Energy white paper, Solving the Capacity Challenge. In it we talk about the two-pronged approach to managing capacity: on one end, focused on delivering incremental capacity very quickly today; and on the other end, focused on developing new approaches to meet new capacity needs in the future.

Download the White Paper

Delivering incremental capacity quickly while mitigating risk today

Solving today’s capacity challenges is about mitigating the risk of not being able to support the needs of the business – in other words, delivering capacity as quickly as possible to ensure the business can meet customers’ rapidly growing needs.

  • Delivering multi-megawatts of provisioned capacity in less than 12 weeks: Aligned Energy specializes in delivering capacity quickly. We do it by combining highly scalable, factory-built components with pre-provisioned capacity on site that allows us to deliver multi-megawatts of provisioned capacity in less than 12 weeks.
  • Mitigating risk through customer centricity: The ability to bring capacity online quickly requires a reliable data center partner that will deliver – a data center partner that is easy to work with, from initial discussions about requirements all the way through to day-to-day operations.

“Solving tactical capacity challenges is about mitigating the risk of not being able to support the needs of the business.” – Click to Tweet

Developing new approaches to meet new capacity needs in the future

Solving tomorrow’s capacity challenges is about future-proofing current data center deployments. It’s also about the ability to deploy capacity at any scale around the world, including in emerging markets.

  • Future-proofing: Because demand for capacity is rising so fast, often unpredictable, and workloads increasingly variable, delivering capacity efficiently requires future-proofing current data center deployments against changes in IT requirements that will arise during the term of the lease. That includes supporting standard and high power densities and enabling scale both vertically and horizontally – without stranding power or space or having to reconfigure the data center footprint.
  • Deploying at any scale around the world: Because demand for capacity is rising fastest in new markets, meeting new capacity needs in the future will require the ability to deploy capacity at any scale (from 500 kW to 50 MW and everything in between) around the world, including in emerging markets that have infrastructure and resource challenges such as power reliability issues, power and water constraints, and human capital constraints.

“Solving strategic capacity challenges is about future-proofing current deployments against changes in IT requirements.” – Click to Tweet

At Aligned Energy, we respond to today’s tactical challenges and tomorrow’s strategic challenges with an adaptive data center approach that enables us to deliver capacity quickly and mitigate risk today, and meet tomorrow’s needs by future-proofing the data center and confronting emerging market challenges. Learn more about how we do that in the white paper, Solving the Capacity Challenge. Check it out.

Aligned Energy CEO Andrew Schaap on the State of the Data Center

August 10, 2017

Aligned Energy CEO Andrew Schaap talks to Data Center Frontier about security, mergers, innovation, and adapting to a multi-cloud world.

Quick take

  • Aligned Energy CEO Andrew Schaap joined a panel of four data center executives to talk about the state of the data center industry.
  • The executives explored four topics: data center uptime, industry consolidation, innovation, and adapting to a multi-cloud world.

This is a recap of several articles that first appeared on Data Center Frontier, Executive Roundtable: The State of the Data Center.

Aligned Energy CEO Andrew Schaap joined a panel of four data center executives recently to share his thoughts on the state of the data center industry and where it is headed. He explored four topics:

  • Lessons learned from the outage at British Airways – and how to maximize uptime
  • How the industry is being affected by robust M&A activity
  • Opportunities for innovation in electrical infrastructure
  • How the data center industry can adapt to an increasingly multi-cloud world

Aligned Energy CEO Andrew Schaap on the state of the industry

On meeting today’s needs – and tomorrow’s: “Cloud, colocation, or on premise, the data center is the factory of the digital age. Success requires a data center partner who can deliver space, cooling, power and network capacity nimbly and quickly and has a strategic vision for how to meet the capacity needs of tomorrow.”

“Cloud, colocation, or on premise, the data center is the factory of the digital age.” – Click to Tweet

On maximizing uptime: “It has been widely reported how much data center outages cost businesses not just in capital losses, but also to reputation and brand over the long-term. To help avoid these critical disruptions it’s important for company leadership to take an in-depth look at their existing technology systems – both hardware and software – and consider updating those systems to meet the demands of today’s ever-evolving digital world.”

“Data center outages cost businesses not just in capital losses, but also to reputation and brand over the long-term.” –Click to Tweet

The impact of mergers and acquisitions in 2017: “The consolidation is likely to continue because management has to search smaller and untapped markets that are under-served … One of the reasons I joined Aligned Energy, which is a privately-held company, is because we have the ability to say ‘yes’ to more opportunities whereas the publicly-traded companies have a more difficult time getting decisions approved and look to acquire in order to expand into new territories.”

“One of the reasons I joined Aligned Energy is because we have the ability to say ‘yes’ to more opportunities.” – Click to Tweet

Whether there’s room for innovation in data center electrical infrastructure: “There is always room for innovation, especially in data center power, because innovation is all about efficiency. It’s an important initiative for our industry collectively to come together and identify new solutions to help make data centers more energy efficient.”

“There is always room for innovation, especially in data center power, because innovation is all about efficiency.” – Click to Tweet

Strategies to address multi-cloud deployments: “I would argue that it’s fast-becoming a hybrid-cloud world because many companies are dealing with multiple clouds, data sources and vendors. While businesses continue to think about their scalability, it’s important for their data center provider to be able to future-proof their site selection criteria; meaning not just plan for their density needs today, but for future growth.”

“It’s fast-becoming a hybrid-cloud world because many companies are dealing with multiple clouds, data sources and vendors.” – Click to Tweet

Highlights from other panelists

“The most exciting and attractive innovations in energy management are the ones that utilize the existing assets of the data center to intelligently reduce cost,” said Shay Demmons, EVP and General Manager of RunSmart.

On M&As in the industry, Robert McClary, Chief Operating Officer of FORTRUST, said, “Some of the factors that are driving this are the Internet of Things and the need for more data center capacity globally, and I think edge computing is pushing a higher quantity of data centers that will be located randomly next to population areas.”

Bob Woolley, Vice President of Critical Facilities Engineering and Design at RagingWire Data Centers, said, “In this new hybrid world, data center providers need to make it as easy to connect to multiple clouds as it is to connect to multiple telecommunications networks.”

To read more on the state of the data center industry from Andrew Schaap and the others, check out Executive Roundtable: The State of Executive Roundtable: The State of the Data Center.