At the start of October, Soben’s data centre team headed to London to join hundreds of other data centre professionals at DCD Connect London 2023. The team returned energised by two days of networking, inspiration and conversation. Here they share their key takeaways from the event.
The Power of AI
During the recent DCD Connect event, AI (Artificial Intelligence) was at the top of everyone’s agenda. Its impact is being felt across all industries worldwide, but the implications for hyper scalers – and their efforts to embrace AI – are significant. Although the potential is exciting, concerns were raised about the massive scale and speed of infrastructure development necessary to meet the rapidly increasing demands of AI.
With the rapid rise of AI has come the need to reevaluate current infrastructure and explore alternative power sources, such as hydrogen and battery storage. Derek McFarlane has written about how to innovate for data centre sustainability, considering the environmental implications of the industry’s enormous energy usage, which shows no signs of slowing down. The industry has a massive carbon footprint generated by running and cooling facilities, making it necessary to have an abundance of high-density racks. However, the current cooling solutions need to be improved. AI can help address this issue.
The demand for data centres, especially with AI’s rapid acceleration, poses challenges for power generation and transmission infrastructure.
Beyond the realm of cooling solutions, the infrastructure supporting power generation and transmission finds itself at the forefront of critical challenges. The high demand for data centres, catalysed by the unprecedented acceleration of AI, is placing a strain on the existing power grid and generation infrastructure. Navigating this landscape will be pivotal as the industry strives to keep pace with the desire for computational power in the digital age.
Sustainability remains a crucial topic in the tech world, and nowhere is this more evident than in the data centre sector. It is here that industry leaders are enthusiastically embarking on a journey to incorporate decarbonisation. The use of green hydrogen is a promising and eco-friendly energy source. However, while the potential of green hydrogen is exciting, there is a notable gap in the current infrastructure, which hinders its smooth integration into established and forthcoming data centres.
The journey towards a more environmentally responsible era is a collective effort that involves all stakeholders, including governments, grid providers, data centre operators, and technology enthusiasts. These stakeholders must work together towards a common goal of facilitating the smooth adoption of green technologies like hydrogen. Through this collaborative effort, we can unlock the potential for a transformation that spans the entire industry, leading to the establishment of greener and more sustainable data centres.
Another topic of discussion at the event was the pressing need for more skilled professionals. With the rapid expansion of the industry, the scarcity of qualified individuals in the data centre field, as well as the broader tech industry, is no secret. Discussions around how to address this dilemma range from upskilling the existing workforce to bringing in fresh, young talent. The goal? To secure the industry’s future by ensuring a robust pipeline of skilled professionals. A critical step to safeguard the continued growth and success of the sector.
Collaboration = Progress
Events like DCD Connect play a vital role in providing data centre professionals with a trusted source of information – and a platform for global industry experts to come together and share ideas about critical topics.
From AI to sustainability, events like DCD Connect are valuable forums to bring together industry leaders to address the sector’s most pressing issues and drive innovation to advance the global industry.
Soben’s team of data centre experts attended the event in October: Derek McFarlane, Managing Director; Pieter Schaap, Director; Robert McQueen, Operations Director; and Russell Brigginshaw, Associate Director – MEP .
Data Centre Dynamics (DCD) creates and publishes content and organises events for the data centre industry. They are recognised globally as a trusted source of information for the industry. They engage with over 300,000 industry experts worldwide to discuss data centres, cloud technology, edge infrastructure ecosystems, and more. DCD Connect London took place on 2-3 October 2023.
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