X

Connect (X)

Tag Archives: data centers

American Tower Metro Data Center Expands Facility

American Tower Metro Data Center in Atlanta adds square footage, capacity in response to growing customer demands

The American Tower Metro Data Center recently expanded its facility at 55 Marietta in downtown Atlanta. The addition brings nearly 20,000 square feet and two additional megawatts of capacity to the facility. American Tower recently fully integrated the data center, formerly Colo Atl, into the American Tower brand and announced the expansion, both of which demonstrate the company’s ongoing investment into the data center space and commitment to customers.

“Expanding in the telecom hub of Atlanta gives us the opportunity to provide our customers with more power and capacity, giving them a vehicle to provide stronger connectivity options,” says David Fox, Director of Business Development, U.S. Innovation for American Tower. “Since acquiring our facility at 55 Marietta nearly two years ago, we’ve been committed to providing state-of-the-art collocation facilities in downtown Atlanta, and this expansion is the latest step we’ve taken to fulfill that promise.”

With the completion of the expansion, the American Tower Metro Data Center now has a total footprint of ~44,500 square feet across the second, fifth and eighth floors. The added capacity brings the total capacity to four megawatts. Last year, additional improvements were completed, including renovations on the fifth floor, the addition of a new dedicated Meet-Me-Area, upgrades to the security and surveillance system, revamped workspaces on each floor for customers, and more.

“Our top priority continues to be providing the best possible customer service,” says Fox. “We will continue seeking out ways to offer optimal connectivity options to our customers, so we may keep providing one of the fastest, safest, and most secure collocation environments in one of the top data center markets in the U.S.

American Tower Moves Forward With Edge Data Centers

By J. Sharpe Smith, Senior Editor

American Tower made an important step today in its efforts to provide edge data centers, debuting a channel program, which allows designated agents to play a key role in helping customers collocate in edge data centers in Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colorado; Denver, Colorado; Jacksonville, Florida; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“With the focus on enterprise network elasticity and network disaster recovery, demand for bandwidth and connection from users at the edge is rising,” said David Fox, director of business development, U.S. tower innovation, American Tower. “The strategic location of our Edge data centers will help meet this demand.

Additionally, XaaS1 became first master agent signed up to lease space to end users for data center collocation at the edge.

“Because of XaaS1’s established relationships, our first master agent agreement will be a great vehicle to extend services to users who need critical data-intensive applications to work quickly and efficiently at the edge,” Fox said.

American Tower Edge Data Centers offer turnkey infrastructure, primary and backup power distribution, fire monitoring, security, and cooling. Using the ground space of existing towers, where connectivity already occurs, American Tower Edge Data Centers create an improved network architecture closer to key operators, which features guaranteed network service levels and 24/7/365 network operations center. The data centers feature secure areas with access control and 24/7/365 site monitoring.

American Tower Tackles Data Centers Globally

Tom Bartlett, president and CEO, said the company expects growth in providing data centers globally to MNOs, hyperscalers, enterprise accounts and data center companies, during the company’s fourth quarter 2020 earnings call. He said American Tower can provide a data center platform with its 200,000 sites in more than 20 countries, including the sites recently purchased from Telxius in Germany.

“In markets like Germany we anticipate that edge computing will be important for carriers and enterprise accounts themselves as they seize the benefits of 5G,” he said.

Vertiv, manufacturer of an edge-ready micro data center system, said the COVID-19 pandemic showed the criticality of data centers and vaulted them into fourth utility status.

“Data centers have been moving toward public utility-type status for some time, but the pandemic has crystalized the need to establish the kinds of official guardrails that have been commonplace across other utilities,” said Gary Niederpruem, chief strategy and development officer for Vertiv. “This isn’t just about working from home, although that is part of it. More importantly, it is about supporting the digital economy in its most mission-critical forms, which include increased reliance on telemedicine and health, enhanced e-commerce, and global telecommunications and mass media.”

Last fall, EdgePresence began deploying low-cost edge data centers nationally at cell tower sites in tier 2 and tier 3 markets through partnerships with Schneider Electric and its distributor Accu-Tech. The Schneider EcoStruxure Data Center solution provides redundant 12-cabinet microdata centers that serve 20 to 30 clients.

Early in 2019, Crown Castle International partnered with Vapor IO, a provider of tower-connected edge collocation and interconnection services, under the Vapor IO Kinetic Edge brand to use Crown Castle’s assets, including its tower real estate and metro fiber.

Vapor IO and Crown Castle later jointly developed a service that seamlessly interconnects Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge with Amazon Web Services (AWS) via Crown Castle’s high-speed Cloud Connect to enable a  mobile and wireless edge applications that span the continuum from edge to core.

Back in 2017, Vertical Bridge led the way in edge compute partnering with its sister company DataBank, a Dallas-based data center provider, to develop micro data centers (MDC) to host edge computing at the base of cell towers. The two companies’ parent corporation, Digital Bridge, publicly announced the plan to enter data centers back in 2014.

“We see micro data centers as part of the major convergence that is taking place,” said Bernard Borghei, executive vice president of operations and co-founder of Vertical Bridge. “Time was needed for technology to catch up, and the carriers needed to understand the benefits of this approach.”

Vertiv Experts Foresee Utility-Like Criticality for Data Centers in 2021

As the world moved online seemingly overnight in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the criticality of data centers and the unrelenting reliance on them across all walks of life became an enduring storyline of the crisis. This reality will manifest in new ways in 2021 as the data center and the information ecosystem orbiting it emerge from the pandemic with a fourth utility criticality, complete with all the expectations and responsibilities that implies. This is among the emerging 2021 data center trends identified by experts from Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions.

Data centers have long been held to high availability standards, but the shift toward utility-like status will be noticeable in two ways. First, those high expectations for network availability will extend deep into rural and remote areas, bringing critical applications to more of the population. This will increase pressure on data centers to maintain connectivity even at the outer edges of their networks. Second, any distinction between availability and connectivity will be erased, as the ability to ensure and protect connections across increasingly distributed hybrid networks becomes as much of a requirement as any traditional measure of data center uptime.

“Data centers have been moving toward public utility-type status for some time, but the pandemic has crystalized the need to establish the kinds of official guardrails that have been commonplace across other utilities,” said Gary Niederpruem, chief strategy and development officer for Vertiv. “This isn’t just about working from home, although that is part of it. More importantly, it is about supporting the digital economy in its most mission-critical forms, which include increased reliance on telemedicine and health, enhanced e-commerce, and global telecommunications and mass media.”

The pandemic effectively established a new baseline for digital infrastructure as the industry adjusts to and eventually moves beyond the global shutdown. Against this backdrop, Vertiv’s experts identified several other emerging trends to watch in 2021. They are:

  • Digitalization on Fast Forward: COVID-19 will have a lasting effect on the workforce and the IT ecosystem supporting the new work-from-home model. Vertiv experts expect the pandemic-motivated investment in IT infrastructure to continue and expand, enabling more secure, reliable, and efficient remote work capabilities. Remote visibility and management will become paramount to the success of these work-from-home models. Already remote service capabilities have emerged to minimize the need for on-site service calls, and those practices are likely to continue long after the pandemic. Any cautious steps taken early in the crisis will be accelerated as the pandemic pushes into 2021 and organizations accept these changes not as a temporary detour, but rather a permanent adjustment to the way we work and do business. Over time, what is done in-person versus remotely will change, and the change will be driven by customers looking to minimize their on-site presence. That places a premium on connectivity, remote monitoring, data analytics, and even artificial intelligence to make decisions.

“Recovery requires a change in mindset for most organizations,” said John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner, in a recent statement. “There is no bouncing back. There needs to be a reset focused on moving forward.”

  • Bringing Large Data Center Capabilities to Small Spaces and the Edge: Today’s edge is more critical and more complex, functionally an extension of the data center rather than the glorified IT closet of the past. Cost and complexity have prevented implementation of data center best practices in these spaces, but that is changing. Vertiv’s experts anticipate a continued focus on bringing hyperscale and enterprise-level capabilities to these edge sites. This includes greater intelligence and control, an increased emphasis on availability and thermal management, and more attention to energy efficiency across systems.

 

  • The 5G Conversation Turns to Energy Consumption and Efficiency: In this early stage of 5G planning and launches, the discussion has rightly focused on the ultimate benefits of the technology – increased bandwidth and reduced latency – and the applications it will enable. However, as many countries begin their 5G wireless communicatons rollouts in 2021, and the early adopters start to drive breadth and scale, the focus will shift to the significant energy consumption increases brought on by 5G and strategies to deploy more efficiently and effectively. The network densification necessary to fully realize the promise of 5G unavoidably adds to the increased energy demands – estimated to be 3.5 times more than 4G. The coming year will see greater focus on managing that significant increase in energy consumption by exploring more efficient products and practices.

 

  • Sustainability Comes to the Forefront: 5G is one piece of a broader sustainability story. As the proliferation of data centers continues and even accelerates, especially in the hyperscale space, those cloud and colocation providers are facing increased scrutiny for their energy and water usage. The amplification of the climate change conversation and shifting political winds in the United States and globally will only add to the focus on the data center industry, which accounts for approximately 1 percent of global energy consumption. The coming year will see a wave of innovation focused on energy efficiency across the data center ecosystem. The benefits for data center operators are clear, starting with cost reduction, compliance with existing and anticipated regulations, and the goodwill that comes with establishing a leadership position in the global sustainability movement. Look for important innovations across the data center infrastructure space and especially in the area of thermal management.

Source: Vertiv

Towers Will Host Future of Network Convergence: Bartlett

By J. Sharpe Smith, Senior Editor

Tom Bartlett, American Tower CEO, told the Q3 earnings call last week how American Tower aims to use its neutral-host real estate portfolio to help customers deal with the convergence of wireless and wireline networks, which will lead to numerous additional services that call for mobile data centers.

“We believe that this convergence along with increasing digitalization, network virtualization and cloud-native software-defined services will lead to increasing demand for distributed, interconnected global edge compute processing,” Bartlett said.

Infrastructure at the edge should remain a critical component of the network architecture as it evolves, according to Bartlett, which is where American Tower’s real estate assets reside.

“We are focused on developing communications infrastructure business models that augment the value of our existing assets, expand our revenue base beyond traditional tenants, and enhance our leadership role in the wireless ecosystem,” Bartlett said. “At the highest level, our goal is to selectively extend our digital infrastructure core capabilities to further encapsulate neutral hosted wireless connectivity, transport, and compute functions as part of our comprehensive platform.”

American Tower plans to offer tenants an integrated suite of complementary solutions to fit within the increasingly complex network designs.

American Tower will focus its investments on business models with contracted long-term revenue commitments from Tier 1 customers; multi-tenancy and multi-service offerings with low ongoing maintenance capex; operating leverage characteristics similar to towers; and synergies and adjacencies to existing American Tower assets and skillsets, Bartlett said.

In the United States, as 5G deployments accelerate, American Tower expects an increasing number of lower latency applications and more cloud-based customer demand for application-level and network compute functions at the edge.

“There are two distinct solutions within this emerging ecosystem: distributed compute and mobile edge compute,” Barlett said. “We believe that these two offerings will develop on different timelines and will allow us to provide differentiated valued propositions for our customers.”

On the distributed computing side, enterprise workloads continue to move to the public cloud. In the near term, on- or off-premise private cloud computing is also being used as a hybrid solution. American Tower has begun deploying micro data center facilities at select tower sites and has seen early indications of solid demand in collaboration with partners like Flexential, a nationwide data center platform.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are often willing to move legacy workloads to more responsive, proximate, cost-effective data centers, and we believe that many data centers at some of our macro towers can represent optimal locations for these installations,” Bartlett said.

In the long term, however, 5G mobile edge compute solutions at the tower to represent a much larger opportunity to fulfill the need for low latency, according to Bartlett.

“The foundational concept of our mobile edge strategy is the expectation that localized neutral host, multi-operator, multi-cloud micro data centers can be the most cost- and technology-efficient means to which latency can be reduced,” he said. “These facilities can be optimally located at select macro tower sites that already have power, fiber and multiple wireless tenants, rather than each cloud provider and carrier forging ahead with their own connectivity arrangements.”

Colo Atl, an American Tower company and provider of carrier-neutral colocation, data center and interconnection solutions, is in the early stages of small-scale deployments at the tower sites.

“At this point, we think a scaled solution is still at least a few years away, but there is tangible progress being made, and we are excited about the possibilities,” Bartlett said. “Underlying this excitement of the potential future 5G related use cases that we expect to drive rapid uptake of mobile edge compute functions.

Verizon Teams with Microsoft to Offer Private 5G Mobile Edge Computing

Verizon is joining forces with Microsoft to create new ways for enterprises to accelerate the delivery of fast and secure 5G applications, benefiting from reliable and low latency connections. Verizon’s on-site 5G Edge network integrated with Azure edge services can enable ultra-low latency, many times faster than the blink of an eye, which can help businesses tap into real-time data analysis and delivery.

Applications incorporating computer vision, augmented, mixed and virtual reality, digital twins or machine learning can be enhanced with 5G and MEC on the customer premise, helping transform the way industries such as retail, transportation, and logistics operate: Think of automated high-precision asset localization, tracking and positioning in manufacturing. In healthcare, the increased speed, reduced latency and high bandwidth connectivity of 5G networks could enable real-time precision medicine leveraging mixed reality and AI capabilities as well as seamless and fast sharing of large files to improve patient care.

The collaboration brings Azure cloud and edge capabilities together with Verizon’s on-site 5G Edge, a mobile edge computing platform designed to enable developers to build applications for mobile end-users and wireless edge devices with ultra-low latency. By providing on-site private 5G, businesses will realize increased power efficiencies and reduced costs of end user devices, while helping to address their privacy and security needs.

“We have built a network that provides real-world, 5G-enabled solutions TODAY,” said Rima Qureshi, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer at Verizon. “By bringing together Verizon’s 5G network and on-site 5G Edge platform with Microsoft’s expertise in cloud services, we will enable the development of the next generation technologies everyone has been envisioning.”

Logistics and supply chain solutions company Ice Mobility is already testing on Verizon’s on-site 5G Edge platform, integrated with Microsoft Azure. The company is using 5G and MEC to help with computer vision assisted product packing. By gathering data in near real-time on product packing errors, the company has the potential to improve on-site quality assurance and save 15% to 30% in processing time.

“We are especially excited to join Verizon and Microsoft to test how 5G and MEC can improve the quality assurance process,” said Mike Mohr, CEO of Ice Mobility. “They truly have listened to our needs to provide automated real-time quality oversight and feedback, which will enable us to cost-effectively launch unique new products, while maintaining the highest execution standards, significantly increasing throughput and reducing costs. And, this is just the beginning.”

“By leveraging Verizon’s 5G network integrated with Microsoft’s cloud and edge capabilities, developers and businesses can benefit from fast, secure and reliable connections to deliver seamless digital experiences from massive industrial IoT workloads to precision medicine,” said Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president Azure for Operators at Microsoft.

Moving forward, Verizon will explore opportunities to co-innovate with Microsoft to deliver new value to industries ranging from manufacturing to healthcare.

Source: Verizon