The Data Center Frontier Show

Endeavor Business Media

Data Center Frontier’s editors are your guide to how next-generation technologies are changing our world, and the critical role the data center industry plays in creating our extraordinary future. read less
TechnologyTechnology

Episodes

The AI Data Center is Coming and the Energy Landscape is Changing
2d ago
The AI Data Center is Coming and the Energy Landscape is Changing
In this AI evolution, the industry has showcased resilience and agility in addressing the new power demands and resiliency challenges, and we’re seeing data center operators quickly adapting to reshape data center design and operation strategies. In this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show podcast, DCF Editor in Chief Matt Vincent speaks with Vance Peterson, Solutions Architect for Schneider Electric, who sheds light on the industry's response to this critical need, unveiling strategies, technologies, and concepts that are revolutionizing power & cooling delivery within data centers, paving the way for unprecedented computational capabilities. Looking toward the future, we explore the imperative transformation of sustainable energy resiliency for multi-sourced critical systems, positioning data centers as prosumers in the new energy landscape. Our guest provides valuable insights into the evolving role of data centers as key players in sustainable energy ecosystems, ensuring reliability and efficiency in an era of dynamic energy demands. Furthermore, the podcast delves into the groundbreaking collaboration between Schneider Electric and NVIDIA, illuminating the optimization of data center infrastructure and advancements in edge AI and digital twin technologies. Finally, we uncover how AI and machine learning technologies are driving software efficiencies and predictive analytics in data centers, showcasing how digital services can revolutionize data center operations and drive unparalleled performance and sustainability. Tune in for a captivating discussion at the forefront of technological advancement with AI, sustainability, and data center innovation in the data center industry.
Building Data Center Capacity with T5 EVP David Mettler
Jun 4 2024
Building Data Center Capacity with T5 EVP David Mettler
For this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show podcast, Data Center Frontier Editor in Chief Matt Vincent meets with David Mettler, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for T5 Data Centers. In the course of discussion, Mettler provides an overview of T5 Data Centers' model for building data center capacity in light of current events, emphasizing the importance of power and meeting agreed-upon timelines. Talk centers on how T5 has acquired 160 acres in Grayslake, Illinois for a data center with a power capacity of up to 480 MW, to be delivered between 2027 and 2029. Mettler emphasizes T5's flexibility and how a customer-centric solutions mindset informs the company's data center model.  The discussion also touches on T5's commitment to environmental stewardship, considering various onsite data center energy options such as nuclear and hydrogen. Here's a timeline of the podcast's key moments: 2:17 - David Mettler details T5's acquisition of 160 acres in Grayslake, Illinois for data center development, emphasizing factors such as zoning, an attractive site, and power capacity up to 480 MW delivered between 2027 and 2029. 5:16 - Mettler highlights T5's presence in Chicago, previous and current projects in the area, and the region's favorable utility conditions, tax incentives, and the continuous growth of the market. 6:43 - Mettler outlines T5's model for building data center capacity, emphasizing flexibility, customer-centric solutions, and the importance of delivering on time to maintain customer trust and reputation. 8:51 - Further details on T5's 480 MW power delivery plan in Chicago are explored, involving potential for phasing up to 850 MW based on customer needs, and the attractiveness of the property due to high power demand. 16:39 - DCF Editor in Chief Matt Vincent raises the topic of sustainability, prompting Mettler to elaborate on T5's commitment to environmental stewardship, participation in reporting frameworks, and the challenges of balancing growth with green power limitations. 18:46 - Discussion targets exploration of various energy options such as nuclear, hydrogen, and natural gas, highlighting the industry's focus on meeting energy demands responsibly. 22:06 - The discussion expresses optimism about collaborative efforts across industries to address energy needs, particularly praising innovative "new" nuclear designs and emphasizing the potential of nuclear energy for a sustainable future. 26:07 - Mettler highlights T5s unique perspective in constructing and operating data centers for both owned and client-owned facilities, emphasizing the company's expertise and ownership mentality in delivering tailored solutions, especially in the context of liquid cooling and high power demands.   Recent DCF Show Podcast Episodes Phillip Koblence, COO and Co-Founder, NYI; Co-Founder, Nomad Futurist   Data Center Construction and Dallas Market Talk with Burns & McDonnell Data Center Frontier's Rich Miller Talks Gigawatt MegaCampus Predictions ZutaCore Executives Recap NVIDIA GTC Data Center Liquid Cooling Playbook NVIDIA, Equinix, JetCool Talk Data Center Liquid Cooling, GTC 2024 AI Conference Trends
Data Center Design Shop Talk with Critical Facility Group's Christopher McLean, PE, ATD, LEED AP
May 22 2024
Data Center Design Shop Talk with Critical Facility Group's Christopher McLean, PE, ATD, LEED AP
For this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show Podcast, DCF Editor in Chief Matt Vincent sat down for a chat with  Christopher McLean, PE, ATD, LEED AP. Specializing in the design, operations and construction of data centers, Chris is a Principal at Critical Facility Group in Boston. He previously held Director-level roles at a global engineering and construction corporation, a consulting engineering firm, as well as at a carrier hotel and colocation facility.  Grounded in journeyman desktop support and hardware specification expertise, McLean's data center experience holistically encompasses all aspects of data center delivery, including elements of modular design and construction, design engineering, and facility operations.  He is a frequent presenter at technical conferences, and contributor to industry publications. We caught up with Chris shortly after his appearance presenting an AI facility design and construction case study on the seminar stage at Data Center World.  Our conversation touched on  the challenges posed by high-density AI designs in data centers and the overall "state of liquid cooling" for AI.  Additionally, the importance of a pragmatic approach in recycling IT assets and the adoption of new battery technologies was highlighted.  An increasing interest in nuclear small modular reactors (SMRs) for meeting the power demands of data centers and the challenges of the AI era, and the potential economic and community impact of these technologies, was also discerned and discussed.  Talk also ranged over such subjects as data center controls, building automation, electrical power monitoring systems, and building management systems to enhance total product delivery to data center operators. Here's a timeline of the podcast's key moments: 2:31 - Discussion centers on the increasing interest and viability of nuclear energy, particularly SMRs, in meeting the rising power demands of data centers. 5:42 - Talk turns to the diversity of SMR designs, safety features, public perception challenges, and the potential positive economic impact and innovation these technologies could bring to the industry. 10:00 - DCF leans into Chris' insight as a design engineer, leading to a discussion on the challenges posed by high-density AI designs in data centers, the need for precise load information for effective design, and the necessity of creating flexible environments to accommodate rapidly evolving technology, while avoiding overshooting or undershooting design requirements. 15:32 - DCF solicits opinion on the state of liquid cooling for AI, as the discussion goes on to specifically compare and contrast direct to chip with immersion cooling technologies and methods. 16:02 - Further exploration of the deployment of immersion cooling technology in data centers, with McLean considering the hallmarks of the mechanical engineering team and CFD models being employed at Critical Facility Group in terms of evaluation and potential implementation. 21:59 - Discussion turns to data center BMS trends and insights on the evolution of fire protection in the industry, specifically focusing on the transition from MEP firms to specialty fire protection groups. 25:10 - Thoughts on a pragmatic approach to recycling and sustainability in data centers, focusing on repurposing IT assets, particularly in the context of the AI revolution and the importance of giving obsolete components a second life. 31:04 - Talk ranges from discussion about Single-Pair Ethernet technologies, power issues, renewable energy, battery backup, and the potential future trends in the data center industry. 33:03 - McLean elaborates on the relative adoption of battery technologies including lithium-ion, nickel-zinc, and the challenges faced in replacing valve regulated lead–acid (VRLA) batteries, emphasizing the need for education and innovation in the industry.
Podcast: ZutaCore Executives Recap NVIDIA GTC Data Center Liquid Cooling Playbook
Apr 30 2024
Podcast: ZutaCore Executives Recap NVIDIA GTC Data Center Liquid Cooling Playbook
For this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show podcast, DCF's editors sat down with Udi Paret, Chief Business Officer of ZutaCore, and Alison Deane, ZutaCore's VP of Marketing, to discuss the company's impactful showing at the NVIDIA GTC [GPU Technology Conference] event this past March. Held at the San Jose Convention Center in the heart of Silicon Valley, both ZutaCore executives were intensively on hand for the event. A Busy GTC for Zutacore  At GTC, ZutaCore showcased its direct-to-chip, waterless liquid cooling technology, and announced support for the NVIDIA H100 and H200 Tensor Core GPUs to help maximize data centers' AI performance while delivering sustainability benefits.  "I wore them out," said Deane of her press scheduling at NVIDIA GTC for Paret and his counterpart at GTC, ZutaCore CEO, Erez Freibach. Paret and Deane said that Zutacore drew significant interest at GTC for the breadth of the company's announcements surrounding its HyperCool platform, comprised of direct-to-chip, waterless two-phase liquid cooling technology. ZutaCore's HyperCool dielectric cold plate liquid cooling system involves a direct-contact, self-regulated, pool-boiling based evaporator, enabling networking and simultaneously cooling all chips on-demand.  Several leading server manufacturers are engaged with ZutaCore to complete the certification and testing on the NVIDIA  GPU platforms. Compact, easy to install, and capable of cooling up 1500-watt processors and above, the company notes the platform is also qualified by processor manufacturers Intel and AMD, and deployed in major server manufacturers including Dell, SuperMicro, ASUS, Pegatron. Centrally during the GTC 2024 event, ZutaCore showcased its H100 and H200 waterless dielectric cold plates supporting densities up to 1500W in the booths of Boston Limited, Hyve Solutions, and Pegatron. Comparative Cooling Challenges During the podcast, Paret emphasized the advantages of ZutaCore's Hypercool technology, while addressing comparative challenges faced by single-phase water-based solutions. "The AI explosion is causing a market shift and positioning ZutaCore strategically," he said. With the NVIDIA H100’s ability to speed up large language models by 30x over the previous technology generation, and the H200 being touted as the world’s most efficient GPU for supercharging AI and HPC workloads, it's safe to these are two of the highest performing chips ever designed (even leaving aside NVIDIA's much-balleyhooed Blackwell platform.)  However, with each GPU consuming 700W of power, this will challenge data centers that are already struggling to control factors of heat, energy consumption and footprint.  ZutaCore’s HyperCool direct-to-chip waterless two-phase liquid cooling technology was designed specifically to answer such demands, and has already been proven to cool processors of 1500W or more, and currently for 100 kW per rack of computing power.  “Next-generation GPUs have unique cooling requirements that are most effectively solved by waterless, direct-to-chip liquid cooling technology for current GPU of 1500W while increasing rack-processing density by 300%,” said ZutaCore CEO Freibach, who is a co-founder of the company.  “Not only do hyperscalers eliminate the risk and massive expense of water leakage in the server, but they can also scale their cooling needs with little to no modifications to current real estate, power, or cooling systems. This is a game changer for the future of AI and HPC.” Meanwhile, the ZutaCore executives noted how the increasing need for sustainable AI solutions highlights the importance of sustainable practices in data centers.  In the arena of such concerns, ZutaCore's partnership and white-label sales agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) dramatically addresses the pressing challenges faced by data centers today, including the enhancement of heat exhaust efficiency, promotion of energy conservation, and decarbonization. Here's a timeline of key points on the podcast. 1:34 - Udi Paret, CBO of ZutaCore, reflects on the recent NVIDIA GTC event, highlighting the AI explosion and a major shift in design and consumption observed during GTC. Paret notes that CRN listed their company as one of the hottest at the event. 4:09 - Alison Deane, the company's VP of Marketing, discusses ZutaCore's success at GTC in being featured by partners like Boston Limited and Pegatron and showcasing its liquid cooling technology, w hich she says drew significant interest. 10:50 - Udi Paret elaborates on the advantages of the HyperCool technology, emphasizing the platform's elimination of water in servers, the implementation of phase change on the chip for future-proofing, and how this approach addresses challenges faced by single-phase water-based solutions in terms of scalability, sustainability, and performance. 19:01 - Data Center Frontier inquires about the competitiveness of two-phase dielectric direct-to-chip cooling compared to immersion cooling. 22:08 - Udi Paret explains the mechanics surrounding the dissipation of heat from the ZutaCore HyperCool system and emphasizes the platform's high-quality heat reuse capabilities. 26:08 - The discussion touches on ZutaCore partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' involvement in data centers, and reflects on the overall industry's growth.Deane and Paret recap more experiences from NVIDIA GTC, highlighting the buzz around AI in general and ZutaCore's innovative liquid cooling solutions in particular, leading to enabling net-zero goals. 28:47 - Udi Paret touches again on the market shift produced by the AI technology explosion, noting vertically integrated plays across various industries which aid in ZutaCore's strategic positioning.
Phillip Koblence, COO and Co-Founder, NYI; Co-Founder, Nomad Futurist
Apr 16 2024
Phillip Koblence, COO and Co-Founder, NYI; Co-Founder, Nomad Futurist
For this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show Podcast, DCF Editor in Chief Matt Vincent sits down for an instructive chat with Phillip Koblence, a strategic executive and ubiquitous thought leader in the data center and network space.  Koblence co-founded NYI in 1996 and has successfully navigated through an ever-shifting infrastructure landscape, growing the company from a single data center in Lower Manhattan to a robust network with executional capabilities in key national and international markets.  His leadership, focus on customer experience, and ability to cut through complexity and hype, has positioned NYI as an industry leader in high-touch infrastructure solutions. Koblence is also CEO of Critical Ventures, a consulting agency offering a range of services to help clients, owners and investors optimize the value of critical infrastructure assets. Koblence sits on the DE-CIX North America Advisory Board as well as on the Board of OIX (formerly Open-IX). He is co-founder of the Nomad Futurist Foundation and podcast, designed to demystify the world of critical infrastructure and inspire younger generations to join the industry.  The interview begins with a discussion of NYI's entry into 60 Hudson Street and the challenges of retrofitting legacy buildings for modern data center needs, while emphasizing the importance of connectivity and collaboration in the digital infrastructure industry, and highlighted the rapid pace of technological advancements such as AI. Here's a timeline of the podcast's highlights: 2:03 - Koblence discusses NYI's entry into Manhattan's historic colocation and interconnection hub, 60 Hudson Street, emphasizing the importance of connectivity in New York City's digital infrastructure evolution. 6:20 - Koblence elaborates on the challenges and considerations when retrofitting legacy buildings like 60 Hudson for modern data center needs, highlighting the importance of creative solutions and understanding the nuances of different deployments. 11:38 - The discussion turns to an exploration of deploying data centers in skyscrapers, the evolving criticality of digital infrastructure, and the need for redundancy and a "data center mindset" in reckoning with society's reliance on connectivity. 20:02 - Remarks on the rapid pace of technological advancements, specifically the increasing densities of GPUs such as Nvidia's H100, H200, Grace Hopper, and Blackwell chips. 20:32 - More on the exponential increase in densities within the digital infrastructure community and predictions of a future "flattening out" of density growth. 23:59 - Koblence emphasizes the continued relevance of legacy facilities such as 2 megawatt (MW) or 5 MW data centers in modern deployments, particularly in major connectivity hubs. The concept of the edge is also discussed in the context of facilitating connectivity with AI sites. 26:59 - Koblence elaborates on the importance of collaboration and creating cohesive solutions across various data center facilities, while emphasizing the role of NYI as a solutions facilitator and discussing partnerships with Hudson IX and other providers. 31:22 -  Koblence elaborates on the mission of the Nomad Futurist foundation to demystify the world of digital infrastructure, highlighting the simplicity of the industry beneath the technical complexities, and emphasizing transparency and accessibility in making connectivity and digital infrastructure understandable and available.   Recent DCF Show Podcast Episodes:  DCF Show: Data Center PR Practice Fosters Coalitions, Community Outreach to Reduce Development Backlash   DCF Show: Data Center Construction and Dallas Market Talk with Burns & McDonnell  DCF Show: The Top 5 Data Center Industry Stories of Q4  DCF Show: Steve Madden, Equinix VP of Digital Transformation and Segmentation Marketing  DCF Show: 8 Key Data Center Industry Themes for 2024, Part 3
NVIDIA, Equinix, JetCool Experts Talk Data Center Liquid Cooling, GTC 2024 AI Conference Trends
Apr 2 2024
NVIDIA, Equinix, JetCool Experts Talk Data Center Liquid Cooling, GTC 2024 AI Conference Trends
As recorded on March 22, 2024, this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show Podcast featured the following participants:  • Matt Vincent, Editor in Chief and Podcast Host, Data Center Frontier  • Ali Heydari, Technical Director and Distinguished Engineer, NVIDIA  • Marcus Hopwood, Product Management Director, Equinix  • Bernie Malouin, CEO and Founder, JetCool    The podcast discussion begins with a focus on NVIDIA's latest insights, as imparted by Heydari, in the context of products, partnerships, and trend-leadership, as revealed at the recent NVIDIA GTC 2024 AI Conference (Mar. 18-21).  The conversation opens up to look at broader implications and developments within the tech and data center industries, such as Equinix's plans to enable liquid cooling at more than 100 data centers globally, and facets of their latest partnership with NVIDIA, as characterized by Hopwood.  The discussion turns to JetCool's history of providing innovative liquid cooling solutions for high-density chipsets, underlining the critical role of cooling technologies in support of the rapid growth of AI applications in data centers.  The talk also explores ways of advancing efficiency and sustainability in high-powered clusters through warm coolants and heat reuse, considering energy efficiency directives in the EU and UK. View a timeline of the podcast's highlights and read the full article about the podcast.
Flexential CIO Jason Carolan Unpacks the Data Center Industry's NVIDIA Moment
Mar 19 2024
Flexential CIO Jason Carolan Unpacks the Data Center Industry's NVIDIA Moment
For this episode of the DCF Show podcast, we interview Jason Carolan, Chief Innovation Officer at data center operator Flexential. He’s a 25-year expert in the enterprise IT industry, with experience leading companies through technological evolutions like the one we’re experiencing right now.  Carolan believes there is a bigger story to uncover from the sheer dollar amount of Nvidia’s recent blockbuster valuation. In response to Nvidia’s market dominance in AI and data centers, Carolan wanted to discuss larger trends that may follow from this specific news moment.  According to Carolan:  “Nvidia's earnings results and forecasts for a continued AI boom doesn't come as too much of a surprise with the volume of businesses that are increasingly testing and utilizing the technology. Nvidia's data center business is a combination of GPU and their network technologies, which further showcases the importance of high performance architectures that can support next generation AI demands. The company is currently forecasted to ship 4-5 times more GPUs this coming year – indicating another trend line with little competition in sight.  As inference matures, we will see more diversity in chip suppliers but that is a ways off. The bottom line is that, now with accelerating AI rollouts, companies will need more compute capacity, ultra-high bandwidth and very low latency in order to succeed.”
Data Center PR Practice Fosters Coalitions, Community Outreach to Reduce Development Backlash
Mar 5 2024
Data Center PR Practice Fosters Coalitions, Community Outreach to Reduce Development Backlash
This January, Milldam Public Relations announced the launch of its Data Center Community Relations Service, which the company's President and Founder Adam Waitkunas claims is the first community relations service exclusively serving the data center space and the digital infrastructure sector.  In addition to tailormade communication strategies, Adam contends that data center community relations will require coalition building and garnering influence with local officials and stakeholders. He says the new service has been launched in response to the recent widespread backlash to data center development and the lack of tools to combat this within the data center industry.  Personally overseeing the new service offering, Adam is a public relations professional with nearly twenty years of data center industry experience and a background in politics and public affairs, including extensive experience in media relations, marketing strategy, business development and strategic partnerships.  Prior to founding Milldam Public Relations in 2005, Adam was the manager of Doug Stevenson's 14th Middlesex District State Representative campaign, which set a record for fundraising for a challenger in a Massachusetts State Representative race. Concord, Massachusetts-based Milldam Public Relations is a full-service public relations firm that provides competitively priced strategic communications, media-relations and event management to a diverse array of clients throughout the country.  The firm has solidified its position as the go-to public relations firm for companies in the critical infrastructure space. Clients from Boston to Los Angeles include: The Association of Information Technology Professionals-Los Angeles, OpTerra Energy Services, The Critical Facilities Summit, Hurricane Electric, Instor Solutions, Inc., and RF Code. Under Adam's direction, Milldam has helped technology clients across the country secure articles in publications such as: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CFO Magazine, Data Center Knowledge, Green Tech Media, The Boston Business Journal, Mission Critical Magazine, The Silicon Valley Business Journal and Capacity Magazine, among others.  Additionally, in his career Adam has helped businesses become thought leaders in their fields and a valued resource for industry-specific media, helping them to increase sales, promote awareness and become attractive targets for M&A.    Data Center Community Relations Service The new service is premised on the reality that, for many years, the data center industry has frequently operated under the radar, but has become more visible within the last few years. Certain communities throughout North America have taken notice and have started pushing back municipally against proposed developments, most notably in Virginia and Arizona.  For example, in recent months, a number of Virginia environmental groups formed a coalition calling s for more oversight of the data center industry. And in January, King George County, Virginia officials voted to renegotiate a prior agreement for a large cloud provider's $6B Virginia data center campus.  The reversal is partly due to growing local political opposition to data center development. With the launch of Milldam's Data Center Community Relations Service, Waitkunas contends that the digital infrastructure sector now has access to an offering that will equip them with the tools necessary to articulate the benefits of data centers to the local community while proactively addressing local concerns such as traffic infrastructure management and noise, helping to ensure a smoother path to success for the development.  Critical infrastructure plays a predominant role in most people's daily lives throughout North America, driving the need for data center operators. Waitkunas points out that strong community engagement is essential for data centers to properly communicate their value and successfully navigate the complexity of community relations.  To help data center developers achieve their goals, Milldam's community relations practice offers the following services:  •    Establishing partnerships with third-party organizations such as Chambers of Commerce. •    Communicating the numerous benefits of data centers in the community, including economic development, infrastructure improvements, and job creation. •    Developing and providing key talking points. •    Ensuring that local decision-makers hear the client's messages. •    Implementing a wide variety of grassroots campaigns and community outreach.  •    Enabling local supporters to serve as ambassadors and equipping them with the tools to communicate the benefits of proposed developments.  •    Building coalitions. •    Garnering the pulse of public opinion. "If the industry fails to properly engage with localities, years of industry progress will be in jeopardy," said Waitkunas. "It's imperative that developers and operators implement community relations to help ensure a seamless development process." Here's a timeline of key discussion points on the podcast: 2:35 - Adam explains that the idea for the practice came from his background in public affairs and politics, and that it involves building coalitions and partnerships with third party organizations to help data centers overcome obstacles they face when moving into suburban areas. 4:41 - Adam discusses the importance of having individual community members form coalitions with data center developers to speak on their behalf and push issues forward. 8:09 - Adam reveals that the firm is currently working with two developers and has proposals out to other organizations since launching the practice in mid-January. 9:16 - On the importance of timing in getting ahead of community concerns and identifying cheerleaders for data center projects. 10:37 - The PR practice wants the local community to be the main cheerleader for data center projects and will help manage the coalition. 13:01 - Adam notes there is still a lot of community education needed on data centers regarding the ins and outs of countering noise and environmental concerns. 15:10 - Adam explains how the PR practice has been doing outreach to large players in the data center industry and tailoring campaigns for each community's concerns. 23:18 - On the necessity for developers to put together community relations plans and crisis communications plans for their data center projects. Here are links to some related DCF articles: The NIMBY Challenge: A Way Forward for the Data Center IndustryRezoning for PW Digital Gateway Data Centers Approved By Virginia's Prince William County SupervisorsKeeping Your Cool While Getting Your Work DoneiMasons Sharpen Focus on the Community Impact of Data CentersBeing a Good Neighbor Means Considering Community Impact During Site SelectionData Center Development Spurs More Debate in Prince William County
Data Center Construction and DFW Market Talk with Burns & McDonnell
Feb 20 2024
Data Center Construction and DFW Market Talk with Burns & McDonnell
For this episode of the DCF Show podcast, Data Center Frontier's Editor in Chief Matt Vincent and Senior Editor David Chernicoff speak with Burns & McDonnell's Robert Bonar, PE, LEED AP, Vice President, Mission Critical Facilities, and Christine Wood, Vice President leading the firm's Dallas-Fort Worth Global Facilities practice.  Burns & McDonnell is a provider of engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions, who as part of its mission-critical and data center practice is brought in to help plan, design, permit, construct and manage client projects in the space. Bonar and Wood begin the podcast by providing an overview of the company and their roles there, along with their backgrounds in the industry.  An overarching theme of the discussion is how a client's selection of a data center and mission critical consultant is based on more than just an ability to meet service needs. The discussion also covers current data center industry construction trends, especially in the areas of siting and power, while probing the similiarities and differences in planning data center builds for enterprise, colocation and hyperscale clients. D-FW Data Center Market Focus Cushman & Wakefield’s 2023 Dallas-Fort Worth Data Center Report stated that the Dallas-Fort Worth data center markets saw record absorption of 386 Megawatts in 2023 -- a nearly 7x increase since 2020 -- driven by exponential growth in demand for cloud computing and AI/machine learning applications.  Cushman & Wakefield further reported the Dallas-Fort Worth market's vacancy to be at an all-time low of 3.73% last year, with colocation rents and data center land prices there continuing to rise. The commercial real estate services company added: "Despite a robust construction pipeline – 1.4 million square feet that can provide 225 MW – the vast majority of the market’s new data center supply for 2024 and 2025 has been pre-leased. Cloud providers securing large campuses through pre-leasing and AI/ML companies leasing the market’s few remaining pockets of available space are the primary drivers of DFW’s record demand." DCF asked Wood and Bonar about the D-FW data center market and Burns & McDonnell's role in it, including the firm's background and present developments there, as well as the location's future roadmap regarding power, interconnectivity, workforce factors. Here's a time line of key discussion points on the podcast: 2:27 - After introductions and table-setting, the Burns & McDonnell experts emphasize the importance of looking at data center client needs holistically and getting ahead of what they need for a given project. 4:53 - Discussion turns to the impact of generative AI on the data center industry and the uptick in demand for first-of-a-kind designs. 8:44 - Further exploration of how the rapid pace of change in the data center industry has bred increased demand in the market for qualities such as speed-to-market and first-of-a-kind design. 9:22 - DCF inquires about planning for different types of data center builds, and the differences between enterprise, colocation, and hyperscale developments, as well as the impact of AI support, are explored. 14:34 - The discussion further illuminates challenges and changes in the data center industry, including the influence of AI technology on new designs and in future-proofing facilities. 15:04 - Burns & McDonell's Wood discusses the D-FW data center market, highlighting its growth potential due to its central location, low real estate costs, and robust power availability. 20:25 - To conclude, DCF's editors circle back to the topic of renewables and solar consulting in relation to data centers, leading to a discussion on combining solar with battery storage for future data center needs. Here are links to some related DCF articles: The Current State of Power Constraints for New Data Center ConstructionSkybox Plans 300-Megawatt Campus South of DallasBuilding Greener: Compass Seeks Sustainability in its Construction, Supply ChainDallas Sees Record Data Center Leasing Activity in 2022The Big City Edge: Dallas is a Hotbed for Edge ComputingPower Infrastructure and Tax Incentives Drive Dallas Data Center Market
The Top 5 Data Center Industry Stories of Q4
Feb 13 2024
The Top 5 Data Center Industry Stories of Q4
For this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show podcast, it's financial earnings call season, so Editor in Chief Matt Vincent and Senior Editor David Chernicoff take the opportunity to discuss DCF's top 5 most popular data center and cloud computing industry stories for the fourth quarter of 2023, which were as follows:  1. Dominion: Virginia’s Data Center Cluster Could Double in Size Dominion Energy says it has customer contracts that could double the amount of data center capacity in Virginia by 2028 and is planning new power lines to support this growth. Virginia is already the world’s largest market for cloud computing infrastructure. Despite the current power constraints around Ashburn, the data center market in Virginia is positioned to grow much larger. The utility says it has received customer orders that could double the amount of data center capacity in Virginia by 2028, with a projected market size of 10 gigawatts by 2035. That represents a huge increase from current data center power use, which reached 2.67 gigawatts in 2022. The utility’s projections mean that Virginia will continue to experience tensions between the growth of the Internet and the infrastructure to support it. Data Center Frontier's Founder and Editor at Large, Rich Miller, reports. 2. Microsoft Unveils Custom-Designed Data Center AI Chips, Racks and Liquid Cooling At Microsoft Ignite last November, the company unveiled two custom-designed chips and integrated systems resulting from a multi-step process for meticulously testing its homegrown silicon, the fruits of a method the company's engineers have been refining in secret for years, as revealed at its Source blog. The end goal is an Azure hardware system that offers maximum flexibility and can also be optimized for power, performance, sustainability or cost, said Rani Borkar, corporate vice president for Azure Hardware Systems and Infrastructure (AHSI). “Software is our core strength, but frankly, we are a systems company. At Microsoft we are co-designing and optimizing hardware and software together so that one plus one is greater than two,” Borkar said. “We have visibility into the entire stack, and silicon is just one of the ingredients.” The newly introduced Microsoft Azure Maia AI Accelerator chip is optimized for artificial intelligence (AI) tasks and generative AI. For its part, the Microsoft Azure Cobalt CPU is an Arm-based processor chip tailored to run general purpose compute workloads on the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft said the new chips will begin to appear by early this year in its data centers, initially powering services such as Microsoft Copilot, an AI assistant, and its Azure OpenAI Service. They will join a widening range of products from the company's industry partners geared toward customers eager to take advantage of the latest cloud and AI technology breakthroughs. 3. The Eight Trends That Will Shape the Data Center Industry in 2023 Rich Miller predicted that 2023 would be a year of dueling cross currents that could constrain or accelerate business activity in the sector. DCF's Vincent and Chernicoff briefly review last year's trends, remarking on how so many of them are still in full effect for the industry right now. Scorecard: Looking Back at Data Center Frontier’s 2023 Industry Predictions 4.  Google Is Now Reducing Data Center Energy Use During Local Power Emergencies Last October, Google shared details of a system optimized to reduce the energy use of data centers when there is a local power emergency. Core functions of the system, which has the hallmarks of a universally applicable technology, include postponing low-priority workloads, and moving others to other regions that are less constrained. Regarding the system, Michael Terrell, Google's Senior Director for Energy and Climate, explained in a LinkedIn post how the new demand response capability can temporarily reduce power consumption from Google data centers when it’s needed, and provide flexibility to the local grids that power its data center operations. Demand response helps grid operators serve their customers reliably during times of need, such as in times of supply constraints or extreme weather events. Terrell's post empasized that "demand response can be a big tool to help grids run more cost-effectively and efficiently, and it can accelerate system-wide grid decarbonization." Google’s Climate and Energy teams created the new system, which Terrell called an important development toward running the company's data centers "intelligently, efficiently and carbon-free." 5. Cloudflare Outage: There’s Plenty Of Blame To Go Around The Cloudflare outage in the first week of November drew quite a bit of attention, not only because Cloudflare’s services are extremely popular, so their failure was quickly noticed, but also because of the rapid explanation of the problem posted in the Cloudflare Blog shortly after the incident. This explanation placed a significant portion of the blame squarely on Flexential and their response to the issues with electricity provider PGE, and potential issues that PGE was having. Cloudflare was able to restore most of its services in 8 hours at its disaster recovery facility. It runs its primary services at three data centers in the Hillsboro, Oregon area, geolocated in such a way that natural disasters are unlikely to impact more than a single data center. DCF's David Chernicoff noted, "While almost all of the coverage of this incident starts off by focusing on the problems that might have been caused by Flexential, I find that I have to agree with the assessment of Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince: To start, this never should have happened.” Here are links to some related DCF articles: DCF Show: Data Center Frontier's Rich Miller Returns For a VisitDCF Tours: Flexential Dallas-Plano Data Center, 18 MW Colocation FacilityMeta Previews New Data Center Design for an AI-Powered FutureFor Leading Cloud Platforms, AI Presents a Major OpportunityAI Propels Cloud Growth, Digital Infrastructure Investment to New Heights
Interview: Steve Madden, Equinix VP of Digital Transformation and Segmentation Marketing
Jan 30 2024
Interview: Steve Madden, Equinix VP of Digital Transformation and Segmentation Marketing
Even in a month where Equinix very notably rolled out its fully managed private cloud service for enabling enterprises to easily acquire and manage their own NVIDIA DGX AI supercomputing infrastructure, the better to build and run custom generative AI models, there was yet another, not unrelated, announcement from the foundational provider of colocation data centers and digital transformation solutions.  It was in the context of the AI platform rollout with NVIDIA that Equinix this month also issued its annual Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2024 Report, which uncovers digital infrastructure trends driving the decision-making of both enterprises and service providers.  The Equinix statement announcing managed services for the NVIDIA DGX AI supercomputing platform noted that the service includes the NVIDIA DGX systems, NVIDIA networking and the NVIDIA AI Enterprise software platform. For the platform offering, Equinix installs and operates each customer's privately owned NVIDIA infrastructure and can deploy services on their behalf in key locations of its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers globally.  Equinix also emphasized that its NVIDIA DGX service offers high-speed private network access to global network service providers, enabling quick generative AI information retrieval across corporate wide area networks. In addition, the service provides private, high-bandwidth interconnections to cloud services and enterprise service providers to facilitate AI workloads while meeting data security and compliance requirements. Through its offering of NVIDIA DGX AI supercomputing infrastructure services, Equinix contends that enterprises can scale their infrastructure operations to achieve the level of AI performance needed to develop and run massive models. The company also revealed that early access companies using the service has included leaders in sectors including biopharma, financial services, software, automotive and retail, many of whom are building AI Centers of Excellence to provide a strategic foundation for a broad range of rapidly developing LLM use cases. As a related study Equinix commissions each year, the operator's GXI Report comprises a survey of global IT leaders to gather insight on what’s behind the digital economy. Based on the study's latest findings, Equinix stated its belief that the industry has hit a tipping point in resourcing decisions, vis a vis the notion that buying dedicated IT hardware now puts customers at a competitive disadvantage.  For this episode of the DCF Show podcast, Data Center Frontier editors Matt Vincent and David Chernicoff met with Steve Madden, Equinix VP of Digital Transformation and Segment Marketing, to discuss some of the GXI 2024 report's more meaningful findings related to current data center trends and predictions in digital transformation, IT and spending, including the operator's nearly concurrent AI managed services offering. For instance, the GXI report found that enterprises are growing at a 39% CAGR -- 25% faster than service providers -- reaching 12,908 Tbps of total capacity. DCF asked Madden: Since the global pandemic, how much have enterprises leaned on digital providers to focus on responding to business needs, and does Equinix expect such trends to continue going forward?   Also, the GXI report found that 80% of enterprises will design and run new digital IT infrastructure using subscription-based services by 2026. We asked Madden: What does that mean for data centers? The report also found that by 2025, 85% of global companies will have expanded multicloud access across several regions. We asked: How will data centers best be able to manage such demand?  In his remarks, Madden pointed out that Equinix has the most cloud on-ramps of any data center operator in the world, and predicted that the majority of multinational enterprises will be multi-cloud connected in multiple regions around the world in the near future. Madden noted that nowadays -- i.e. in the post-pandemic age of AI -- enterprises are looking for strategic partners, not just vendors, in composing their infrastructure, and seek to do so with a set of key providers to help them move more quickly in their digital transformations.
The 8 Themes That Will Shape the Data Center Industry in 2024, Part 3
Jan 24 2024
The 8 Themes That Will Shape the Data Center Industry in 2024, Part 3
This month on the Data Center Frontier Show podcast, we read down site founder and Editor at Large Rich Miller's annual data center industry trends forecast. This week's article read looks at how AI is driving design updates for power and cooling, why air permitting at scale is a hot potato for the industry, and optimal site selection for Green MegaCampuses. Rich Miller has delivered his annual article containing his top data center industry forecasts, predictions and insights for the year ahead. Of chief concern among the 8 key themes forecasted to define the year is how the AI boom will ripple through the digital infrastructure sector in 2024, impacting the availability of data center space, the supply chain, and factors of pricing, cooling, power and design. Since our industry coverage at DCF throughout the year will frequently refer back to this forecast article, we've decided to enumerate all eight themes throughout several podcast episodes this month.  For this episode, we read down the article's themes 6 through 8: 6.  AI Drives Design Updates for Power and Cooling 7.  Air Permitting at Scale is a Hot Potato 8.  Site Selection Optimizes for Green MegaCampuses "Artificial intelligence is hot," writes Miller. "So hot that the AI boom is creating a resource-constrained world, driving stupendous demand for GPUs, data centers and AI expertise. All three are likely to be in short supply, but none so much as wholesale data center space. This is the trend that dominates our annual forecast." Read the full forecast: The Eight Themes That Will Shape the Data Center Industry in 2024
Hyperscale LED Lighting Approach A Pathfinder for All Data Centers
Jan 17 2024
Hyperscale LED Lighting Approach A Pathfinder for All Data Centers
For this episode of the DCF Show podcast, Data Center Frontier spoke with Sam Rabinowitz, CEO of Lantana, a supplier and provider of LED luminaires for the data center industry -- especially for hyperscalers, but also for energy-efficiency retrofits in mature facilities. Key discussion points include the following: 0:15 - Lantana broke into the data center industry by working with a hyperscaler customer to design and implement rapid deployment prototypes for their initial data center builds on the interior structure, including lighting.3:14 - Lantana's LED fixtures run cool and are energy-efficient, achieving up to 90% efficiency over nearly a decade of use. The LED lighting fixtures are UL certified for elevated ambient operating temperatures, providing operational flexibility for data centers in hot environments.5:45 - Sam explains how Lantana's focus on energy-efficiency and materials efficiency can lead to cost savings and a positive impact on the environment.13:26 - Sam emphasizes the importance of a "micro to macro" approach in greening data, starting with individual components, and scaling up to entire campuses and programs.15:46 - Data Center Frontier Editor in Chief Matt Vincent asks for takes regarding the impact of AI on the data center industry. In response, Sam discusses the need for new products and approaches to designing and engineering data centers to accommodate for chip-level heat.19:32 - Matt asks about Lantana's plans for 2024. In response, Sam describes Lantana's new products as being tailored for digital infrastructure and expansion of the hyperscalers, as well as furnishing renovations for increased energy efficiency in data centers of all sizes.26:46 - Sam emphasizes the importance of lighting in data centers for safety and functionality, and the discussion compares it to cabling as a core, fundamental element of every data center. Visit Data Center Frontier.
Microreactor vs. SMR vs. Diesel Power Generation Pros and Cons for Data Centers with Nano Nuclear Energy
Dec 19 2023
Microreactor vs. SMR vs. Diesel Power Generation Pros and Cons for Data Centers with Nano Nuclear Energy
For this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show podcast, DCF's editors sat down with James Walker, BEng, MSc, CEng, PEng, CEO and board member of Nano Nuclear Energy Inc., and Jay Jiang Yu, Nano Nuclear Energy's founder, executive chairman and president, for a discussion regarding industry news and technology updates surrounding small modular reactor (SMR) and microreactor nuclear onsite power generation systems for data centers. James Walker is a nuclear physicist and was the project lead and manager for constructing the new Rolls-Royce Nuclear Chemical Plant; he was the UK Subject Matter Expert for the UK Nuclear Material Recovery Capabilities, and was the technical project manager for constructing the UK reactor core manufacturing facilities. Walker has extensive experience in engineering and project management, particularly within nuclear engineering, mining engineering, mechanical engineering, construction, manufacturing, engineering design, infrastructure, and safety management. He has executive experience in several public companies, as well as acquiring and re-developing the only fluorspar mine in the U.S. Jay Jiang Yu is a serial entrepreneur and has over 16 years of capital markets experience on Wall Street. He is a private investor in a multitude of companies and has advised a magnitude of private and public company executives with corporate advisory services such as capital funding, mergers and acquisitions, structured financing, IPO listings, and other business development services. He is a self-taught and private self-investor whose relentless passion for international business has helped him develop key, strategic and valuable relationships throughout the world. Yu leads the corporate structuring, capital financings, executive level recruitment, governmental relationships and international brand growth of Nano Nuclear Energy Inc. Previously, he worked as an analyst as part of the Corporate & Investment Banking Division at Deutsche Bank in New York City. Here's a timeline of key points discussed during the podcast: 0:22 - Nano Nuclear Energy Expert Introductions 1:38 - Topic Set-up Re: DCF Senior Editor David Chernicoff's recent data center microreactor and SMR explorations. 1:59 - How microreactors might impact the data center industry. (Can time-to-market hurdles be shrunk?) 2:20 - Chernicoff begins the interview with James and Jay. How the NuScale project difficulties in the SMR segment resulted in the DoD pulling back on preliminary microreactor contracts in Alaska due to market uncertainties directly related to NuScale.  3:23 - Perspectives on NuScale and nuclear power. 4:21 - James Walker on NuScale vs. microreactor prospects:  "They have a very good technology. They're still the only licensed company out there, and they probably will bounce back from this. It's not good optics when people are expecting product to come out of the market. And NuScale was to be the first, but market conditions and the structure of SPACs and the lack of us infrastructure can all complicate what they want to do. Half the reason for them taking so long is because the infrastructure was not in place to support what they wanted to do.  But even hypothetically, even if the SMR market, as an example, was to collapse, microreactors are really targeting a very different area of market. SMRs are looking to power cities and big things like that. Microreactors, you're looking at mine sites, charging stations, free vehicles, disaster relief areas, military bases, remote habitation, where they principally fund all their energy using diesel. It's kind of hitting a different market. So even if the SMR market goes away, there's still a huge, tremendous upside, potential untapped market in the microreactor space." 5:39 - DCF Editor in Chief Matt Vincent asks, "What's the pros and cons of the prospects for microreactors versus what we're commonly thinking about in terms of SMR for data centers?" 5:51 - Nano Nuclear's James Walker responds:  "I would start with the advantages of microreactors over SMR. It's smaller, it'll be cheaper, it'll be safer, it'll be more deployable, you'll have far more economies of scale of producing hundreds of these things. They're easier to decommission, remove, they're easier to take apart.  I mean, logistically, shipping these things around the world as if they were diesel generators is a very feasible prospect. Opex cost will be far lower. Personnel that need to be involved in the day to day physical operation will be negligible.  Where the disadvantage of a microreactor is, is that SMRs would provide a cheaper form of electricity. But as SMRs are providing for cities, microreactors are more for remote locations, remote industrial projects, remote data centers, those kind of things.  You're really competing with sort of the high costs of remote diesel.  As an example, we were speaking with some Canadian government officials and they were saying [with] some of their remote habitations, they can have a community of 800 people, but it still costs $10 million US in fuel alone, ignoring all of the logistical costs of bringing that fuel in on a daily basis, just to power those remote communities that have no possibility of being hooked up to a grid because it's too far.  And that would be the same for all sorts of things, like if you want a remote data center, remote or mining operations, remote industrial projects, oil and gas things, then microreactors aren't really competing with SMRs on cost." 7:33 - Data Center Frontier's David Chernicoff asks: "We're a data center publication, so that obviously is a lot of interest to us, and you pointed out how diesel is the primary methodology for backup power for data centers.  I realize no one has actually shipped a microreactor yet in this form factor. But one of the advantages, for example, that comes from Project PELE from the US DoD was the decision to standardize on Tristructural Isotropic (TRISO) fuel so that for anybody building one, now, the whole issue of building infrastructure to provide the fuel is significantly simplified.  Realistically (and obviously we're asking you to make a projection here, but), when you're able to deliver microreactors at any sort of scale, will they be competitive with diesel generators in the data center space? And I would also allow for you to say, well, diesel generators also have to deal with all the emissions issues, environmental concerns, greenhouse gases, et cetera, that are not issues with a containerized nuclear power plant. So will there be a realistic model there?" 8:45 - James Walker compares the financing costs of diesel generators vs. microreactors. 9:28 - Walker offers this forecast: "With competing with diesel generators, once the infrastructure [for nuclear] is built back up, and you have deconversion facilities and enrichment facilities able to produce High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) fuel, and companies are able to source this stuff very readily, the capital costs come down markedly. And that'll be the same for people like NuScale. Then there'll be an optimization period, typically, I would expect over an eight-year period of launch. So, say microreactors launch in 2030, nearing 2040, I believe the cost will be competitive with diesel by that point. Because the optimization will kick in, the infrastructure will all be in place. And the economies of scale over which these things are being produced means that, yes, you'll essentially have a nuclear battery that can compete with diesel, that can give you 15 years of clean energy, at a cheaper rate. That's what the projections show currently." 10:31 - Discussion point clarifying that nuclear microreactors for battery backup are being positioned for replacement of diesel generation, as distinct from SMR power plant options. 12:00 - Walker explains how the power range of microreactors can vary. SMRs will give you 100 MW of power for enormous data centers and AI, but microreactors allow for data centers to be sited anywhere. If more power for a larger facility is needed, multiple microreactors can serve into the microgrid at the location. 12:50 - Nano Nuclear's Jay Jiang Yu notes, "We've been contacted by Bitcoin mining companies as well, because they want to actually power their data centers in cold environments like Alaska. We've been contacted many times, actually, and there is like a trending topic on 'Bitcoin nuclear.'"  13:28 - Regarding microreactors' being employed in conjunction with microgrids, DCF's Chernicoff asks: "Do you see this being eventually being sort of a package deal -- not just for data centers (obviously data centers will be a big consumer of this) -- but for deployable microgrids where you have battery power, microreactors providing primary power sources, integrating the microgrid with the local utility grids to allow for providing power back to the grid in times of need, pull power from the grid when it's cheap, that kind of whole microgrid active partner model?" 14:19 - Walker holds forth on nuclear investment stakes, and where microreactor and microgrid technology fits in. 16:16 - On the compactness of microreactors, occupying less than an acre. 17:33 - Asking again about the US DoD's Project PELE, how microreactors were instrumental, and what the project's implications might be for data centers. 18:14 - Walker explains how Project PELE was a microreactor program developed by the  US DoD to create a 1.5 megawatt electric microactor to serve the US military in wider capacity in remote areas such as Iraq or Afghanistan forced to rely entirely on diesel power generation.  Walker adds, "Project PELE, even though it began as a military thing, is probably going to have enormous benefits for the wider microreactor market, because there's a lot of development work that can go into fees and inform commercial and civil designs." 19:58 - DCF's Chernicoff notes: "I presume that one of the biggest factors that PELE brought was the standardization for the fuel, the transportability, the applications people were considering with it, and the form factor. Can I stick it into 40 foot containers and get it to my site? Once you standardize on those things, prices start to come down, and that's going to be a big part of making this acceptable to the data center industry, to replace diesel generators or to build microgrids around." 20:31 - More from Nano Nuclear's Walker on how and why the ultimate aim of microreactors is to replace diesel generators. 21:20 - DCF's Vincent asks the Nano Nuclear experts whether, beyond bitcoin mining data centers, they've fielded much interest from standard data center operators?  21:25 - In response, Walker says: "There's been some big ones. Like Microsoft, as an example, were incredibly interested in powering a lot of their remote data centers with nuclear, and so they've even put out funding opportunities to this effect. But on the smaller front, we've seen Chat GPT talk about powering their centers with nuclear in the future ... It opens up the potential for enormous amounts of expansion. It can reduce a lot of costs, especially capital costs of the startup, and I think that's the big draw here." 22:25 - DCF's Chernicoff asks, "Obviously, if I can plunk a microreactor down in the middle of my data center campus, I don't have to worry about transmitting power through the campus. Are there cost advantages in this? Is it something that the big power providers are looking at as a way to basically build a more distributed power grid?" 23:11 - Walker explains how a large mining company Nano Nuclear worked with did just that, and how use of nuclear energy can work to eliminate energy storage and transmission costs. 24:41 - Addressing nuclear NIMBY issues and PR concerns for builders of data centers. 25:40 - On the inherent safety of microreactors. 27:51 - Down to brass tacks on timeframes for microreactors and SMRs. DCF's Chernicoff asks, What are the obstacles to seeing them deployed within the next decade? 29:20 - On the work of Idaho National Labs in nuclear reactors. 31:03 - Taking it back to current events in closing: On NuScale's travails in 2023, Microsoft's SMR job posting raising hopes for a nuclear energy tipping point in the data center industry, etc.
Natron Energy’s Sodium-Ion Battery Technology for Data Centers
Dec 5 2023
Natron Energy’s Sodium-Ion Battery Technology for Data Centers
For this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show podcast, we sit down with Brian Kennedy, Director of Business Development and Marketing at Natron Energy. As recounted by Kennedy in the course of our talk, Colin Wessells founded Natron Energy as a Stanford PhD student in 2012. His vision in building the company, which started in a garage in Palo Alto, was to deliver ultra-safe, high-power batteries.  As stated on the company's website, "After countless hours of development with an ever expanding team of scientists and engineers, Natron now operates a state of the art pilot production line for sodium-ion batteries in Santa Clara, California." The company notes that most industrial power utilizes decades-old, more environmentally hazardous battery technology such as lead-acid and lithium-ion.  In contract, Natron says its "revolutionary sodium-ion battery leverages Prussian Blue electrode materials to deliver a high power, high cycle life, completely fire-safe battery solution without toxic materials, rare earth elements, or conflict minerals." In 2020, Natron became the world’s first sodium-ion battery to achieve a UL 1973 listing for its battery product, and commercial shipments to customers in the data center, forklift, and EV fast-charging markets soon began.  Natron notes that its technology leverages standard, existing li-ion manufacturing techniques, allowing the company to scale quickly. With U.S. and Western-based supply chain and factory agreements in place, Natron says it saw its manufacturing capacity increase 200x in 2022.  In the course of the podcast discussion, Natron's Kennedy provides an update on Natron's data center industry doings this year and into next year. Here's a timeline of key points discussed: :29 - 7x24 Fall Conference Memories :51 - Teeing Up Sodium Ion 1:18 - Talking Pros and Cons, Sustainability 2:15 - Handing It Over to Brian 2:30 - Background on Natron Energy and founder/CEO Colin Wessells 2:55 - Background on Sodium Ion Technology 3:11 - Perfecting a New Sodium Ion Chemistry and Manufacturing with 34 International Patents In Play 3:28 - The Prominent Feature of Sodium-Ion Technology Is Its Inherent Safety; Eliminates Risk of Thermal Runaway 3:51 - U.S. Government ARPA-E Advanced Technology Grants Have Been Pivotal Funding for Natron 4:13 - Sodium Ion Battery Technology Comparison and Value Proposition 5:28 - How Often Is A Data Centers Battery Punctured? Ever Seen a Forklift Driven Through One? 6:10 - On The Science of the Natron Cell's Extremely High Power Density, Fast Discharge and Recharge 6:55 - Comparing Sodium-Ion to Most of the Lithium Chemistries 7:25 - The Meaning of UL Tests 8:00 - Natron Has Published Unredacted UL Test Results 8:35 - On the Longevity of Sodium Ion Batteries 9:51 - "There's No Maintenance Involved." 10:18 - Natron Blue Rack: Applications 10:52 - How Natron Is In the Process of Launching Three Standard Battery Cabinets 11:20 - Performance Enhancements Will Take Standard Data Center Cabinets "Well North" of 250 kW 11:45 - Though Data Centers are Its Largest Market, Natron Also Serves the Oil and Gas Peak Load Shaving and Industrial Spaces  12:21 - Sustainability Advantages 12:51 - ESG Is About More Than Just Direct Emissions 13:15 - The Importance of Considering the Sourcing and Mining of Battery Elements 14:09 - "That Fact That You May Be Pushing [Certain] Atrocities Up the Supply Chain Where You Can't See Them, Doesn't Make It OK" 14:34 - Notes On Supply Chain Security with Secure, U.S.-Based Manufacturing 15:45 - Wrapping Up: Global UPS Manufacturer Selects Natron Battery Cabinet; Looking Ahead to 2024. Here are links to some related DCF articles: Will Battery Storage Solutions Replace Generators? New NFPA Battery Standard Could Impact Data Center UPS Designs Microsoft Taps UPS Batteries to Help Add Wind Power to Ireland’s Grid Data Center of the Future: Equinix Test-Drives New Power, Cooling Solutions Corscale Will Use Nickel-Zinc Batteries in New Data Center Campus