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The most difficult task for Data Centers is to to respond to the rapid transformation of the IT environment it supports

25 September 2018

At Data Centre World Frankfurt 2018, Peter Gross will inform about current developments in modern Data Center Power Distribution. A well-known figure in the data center industry, he gives an insight into major challenges of this sector nowadays and in the future.   

Session details
Title: Panel: Major trends in modern Data Center Power Distribution
Location: Data Centre World Keynote Theatre
Time: 11.15 - 11.40, Weds 7th Nov
Click here to register for your free ticket today!

Question: As the IT space is undergoing a massive disruption driven by cloud, IoT, AI and information explosion, how do traditional data centers have to transform to keep up with this rapid and permanent change?

Peter Gross: The last few years have seen indeed a massive transformation of the traditional, virtualized, consolidated IT infrastructure to a cloud-centric, service oriented, economically efficient environment where IT is consumed as a service. In order to respond to this evolution, Data Centers also had to undergo a similar transformation process. The huge increase in demand for processing, storage and network has forced the data center industry to become more industrialized and standardized, which is a natural progression for a maturing business. The main data center operators priorities-reliability, cost and energy efficiency have not changed significantly, but now, other factors such as speed, flexibility, scalabilty, security and sustainability are becoming more important.


Question: At Data Centre World Frankfurt, you will speak about major trends in modern Data Center Power Distribution. Can you reveal some key features in advance?

Peter Gross: The presentation will cover the latest developments and innovation in power distribution and delivery to the modern data center. It will discuss the concept of Software Defined Power which is an essential building block in the Software Defined Data Center concept. SDP provides a control plane that orchestrates, automates and optimizes the data center power resources by creating a level of abstraction to dynamically match supply and demand. Also, the impact of Open Compute Project (OCP) and Open 19 has had in the architecture of hyperscale data center will be covered. The greater adoption of distributed generation as an attempt to improve control over the power supply, enhance reliability, increase energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint will be also discussed. Other topics include the impact of Silicon Carbide semiconductors, the role of the lithium-ion battery compared to the traditional lead acid battery and the progress made in the implementation the DC data center design.


Question: You lead the Mission Critical Systems group at Bloom Energy, the leading manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells. What is your current main task in this function?

Peter Gross: Bloom's mission is to provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to the world. This is indeed a tall order, but the company is pursuing this goal with great intensity. There are many applications for fuel cells as sources of on-site generation, but data centers in particular can greatly benefit for this solution. However, this is probably the most transformational power solution for data centers, so as with so many disruptive technologies, there is a critical education process that needs to be put in place. My main role is to introduce Bloom Energy fuel cell product and solution to the market and help accelerate its adoption.


Question: As a leading figure in the mission-critical information, communication and infrastructure design realm, you focus on mission-critical facilities, high-reliability design, power quality, energy and sustainability. What drives you on?

Peter Gross: I have been indeed actively involved in the data center space for many years. Although this is an industry at the forefront of technology evolution, it has been, for the longest time, slow to innovate because it is so risk averse. However, the last few years have seen dramatic improvements, driven primarily by the dynamics of the IT transformation. It is a very exciting time to be part of this industry today and there is nothing more rewarding than to have an opportunity to contribute to its betterment.


Question: What major challenges will the data center industry have to face in ten years?

Peter Gross: The next ten years will be indeed challenging. The most difficult task will be to respond to the rapid transformation of the IT environment it supports. Data Centers will have to swiftly transition from the legacy enterprise environments to the massive hyperscale buildout at one extreme and the advent of the edge data centers at the other extreme. It will also need to respond to the global warming crisis and reduce the carbon emissions, address the difficult task of supporting much higher power densities and continue to enhance its resiliency.

Data centers will have to become more intelligent, flexible, scalable, secure, cost and energy efficient.

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