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The rapidly evolving IT architectures of content, digital media, cloud providers, and enterprises are all impacting the way data centers operate. How do advanced network architectures and environmental concerns factor in? Jonathan Atkin from RBC Capital Markets moderated this CEO panel with Craig Scroggie from NEXTDC, Steve Smith from Equinix, Bill Stein from Digital Realty and Paul Szurek from CoreSite.

Let’s take a brief glance at some of the key trends the panel discussed.

According to Craig Scroggie, less than 20% of enterprises have vacated their on-premise data centers. This represents a massive opportunity for public and private cloud providers. Steve Smith agrees that enterprises represent the biggest opportunity for data center providers, noting that there are currently over 400,000 enterprises in various industries that would make great wholesale customers for any one of the providers represented on stage (NEXTDC is in Australia only).

There’s a confluence of different areas driving big growth for the data center sector. Bill Stein believes social networking, IoT, and autonomous vehicles will require so much data capacity that significant cloud storage will be needed. Paul Szurek points out that cloud, digital, and enterprise are interrelating in new ways, resulting in a more partner-rich ecosystem than ever before. This type of environment has been conducive to growth of all kinds.

Preparing for that eventual rise in demand was a recurring theme, as well. Stein and Smith both spoke about their companies’ campus mentality, where they look to expand on current properties so that they are always able to offer their current tenants the ability to scale, as well as add new clients to those facilities. The last thing any of these customers want is to need more capacity than what can be provided.

Continuing the theme of increased traffic and capacity, the rise of subsea cables were also discussed. Steve Smith pointed out the fact that more subsea cable was laid in 2016 than in the previous 5 years combined. With data traffic projected to increase so dramatically in the coming years, having these cables’ terminus point at or near the carrier-neutral data center represents a considerable advantage.

Want to go more in depth on the future of the data center industry? Watch the panel and hear the complete remarks from the CEOs of CoreSite, Digital Realty, Equinix, and NEXTDC here.

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