Compass Datacenters’ Sharif Fotouh Talks Edge With David Liggitt of DatacenterHawk

DALLAS, TX – Compass Datacenters’ Managing Director of Edgepoint, Sharif Fotouh, recently sat down with David Liggitt of DatacenterHawk for episode 33 of their series HawkTalk, where the two discussed all things edge, and how user-demand is shaping the data center as we know it. Sharif expands a bit on his background, and how his stint at Google helping them with their Google Fiber project really opened his mind to the larger possibilities within the data center market:

“When I started, we had a very rough design that was effectively, you know, 10 to 15-kilowatt footprint, you know, barely n+1 with a lot of single points of failure, it was a stretched cell tower shelter, right? And then over the years, right, outages, failures, requirements for increased density, variability and footprint, we went from just kind of the typical PON gear, which is Passive Optical Network gear, went from just PON gear to including transport systems, including, you know, servers, and getting more advanced. We went through multiple iterations of that design on my team. And so, kind of what started as 10 or 15 kilowatts, you know, the last design we produced over there was over 50 kilowatts. And solidly n+1, if not 2n in some places.”

When asked about the future, and how current data patterns are defining data centers themselves, Sharif continues:

“So, if you think of the internet 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, those data patterns were largely a broadcast network… Well, now, we’re seeing interesting data patterns that aren’t going top-down, they’re going sideways, they’re going up. If you think, you know, my little surveillance cameras, my Nest cameras or whatever, is generating as much data as a TV station, you know? Like, I’m effectively a broadcast station at this point. I’ve got five channels, you know?

These new data patterns – and how we look at them – are where the edge can play a key role in distributing the load of data across an entire network, saving impressive sums of bandwidth, utilities, even construction. Which of course all translates to the bottom line.

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