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3 High-Tech Data Center Trends

Data centers may be a young commercial real estate asset class, but user requirements and security concerns are changing them quicker than you can download your next podcast. That’s why we’re excited to host Bisnow’s 4th Annual Data Center Boom, March 18 at The Westin Chicago River North, starting at 7am. One of our panelists, Compass Datacenters SVP Chris Curtis, gave us a preview of top data trends.

1. Fiber and Latency


Data centers’ fiber quality and latency are becoming increasingly more important to a wider range of clients, Chris tells us. Historically, latency, or how long it takes data to get from Point A to Point B, was of extreme importance to a select few, like traders, but Chris has seen a ramp-up in interest from big enterprise clients. “Over the last year and a half, customers have grown more sophisticated, and they’re asking for two diverse paths of fiber and low latency,” he notes. An avid outdoorsman, Chris is snapped duck hunting with his son Sam.

2. Independent and Fully Controlled Facilities


Data center users are prioritizing peace of mind, Chris says, something easier to come by in a standalone, independent backplane, fully controlled Tier 3 facility. Rather than being the fifth tenant in a shared facility, the user retains fully dedicated backplane, has complete security control and can do Level 5 commissioning not possible in a shared space. These facilities are especially valuable given OSHA regulations preventing data center hot work, Chris says, meaning certain maintenance and equipment updates cannot be completed while a facility is fully operational due to life safety concerns. An independent backplane allows you to shut down the A side while keeping the B side fully functional (and vice versa).

3. The Edge Data Center Concept


Compass has embraced the edge data center concept, which means high-quality customers are branching out of the big six wholesale data markets (Chicago, Dallas, Santa Clara, Northern New Jersey, Phoenix, Northern Virginia). Whether it’s for reasons like content or latency, companies from banks to content providers need data centers geographically located closer to either their employees or customers, Chris says. (He's pictured with his kids—Sam, Casey and Wes—communing with Harry Potter at Universal Studios.) For a Fortune 500 company in Des Moines, that might mean a facility in Omaha or Kansas City as opposed to Dallas. Compass has followed that need into secondary data markets like North Carolina, Tennessee and Minnesota. It’s also working some deals around Chicago, Chris adds, a market that’s seeing some rate pressure and substantial suburban expansion. Join us for Bisnow’s Data Center Boom, March 18 at The Westin Chicago River North, starting at 7am. Sign up here!