The New Normal for Operators and Businesses
By Mattias Fridström
May 18, 2020
Today the telecoms industry has become a truly global business unlike any other, with few borders. In recent times, the importance of the networks has been illustrated to every business and citizen, as data centres and fibre networks across the globe work to meet everybody’s needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whilst data travels largely with freedom across the globe, data centres themselves are an area where we still see signs of nationalism forming as Governments legislate to ensure certain data can only be stored in specific jurisdictions. Whilst we do not see those decisions impact the industry significantly, there is an irony to it, given the giant leap forward that led to growth in the data centre market is of course the internet and cloud services.
The right circumstances in the right place
Staying with data centres, when decisions are being made about where to build, the driving factor historically for providers has been “Where is the most convenient site for my customers?” There are usually a number of factors that play into that, with geographical proximity to customers, bandwidth, latency and performance being the main considerations. Frankfurt and Amsterdam are great examples where city locations have won out: There are many data centres in both – they are convenient for customers and perform well, but neither has good green energy resources, a cold climate to utilise for cooling and land is very expensive, which directly impacts cost for clients.
Our own goal has always been to balance the equation, so that a need for low latency, does not immediately mean a compromise has to be made in terms of location, environmental impact and cost – essentially data centres should be built where the conditions are right. There will always be a need for some metropolitan data centres, but if you could take advantage of a data centre that helps address climate change and has lower bills, with no performance hit in terms of your business needs, why wouldn’t you? It’s how more and more data centre owners are thinking as it speaks to their and their client’s corporate goals, as well of those of IT and finance. We want an industry where the need for superior performance does not leave you with only a metropolitan choice – the sector is moving that way, and we’re doing what we can to make it happen faster. Our A1299 backbone alone accounts for more than 60 percent of global routes, connected via 300+ POPs and is expanding all the time, giving data centre providers and enterprises much greater choice over locations that meet their required circumstances.