Digital Realty CTO explains new interconnection data centre infrastructure

Chris Sharp discusses technology challenges, how legacy interconnection barriers are hindering digital transformation, and what more can be done from here to combine open interconnection and next-generation colocation.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

July 27, 2021 | 11:30 AM BST

Digital Realty CTO explains new interconnection data centre infrastructure

Chris Sharp, global CTO, Digital Realty. Source: Digital Realty

The Tech Capital

Last March, Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR) outlined a new manifesto for interconnecting global communities around their increasingly most strategic asset: data. And today, the company is announcing another significant step in its plan to create next-generation interconnection and colocation, in answer to the explosion of enterprise data globally.

The firm, which operates nearly 300 data centre facilities across the globe, has now ramped up efforts to create next-generation interconnection and security capabilities and build the largest open fabric-of-fabrics interconnecting key centres of data exchange. 

The move is designed to facilitate and speed up data flows across networks by linking different parts of the networking fabric through a more automated, intelligent, and seamless software deployments to help manage the infrastructure at Digital Realty and partners to better serve customers.

As part of this development strategy, the company said it is working with global provider of fibre-based communications Zayo Group Holdings, Inc., to lay the physical and virtual foundations of a new open fabric. 

The collaborative approach aims to unlock trapped value and remove legacy barriers to digital transformation by more closely aligning with the hybrid IT and security considerations of multinational enterprises. 

Brian Lillie, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Zayo, said: “As businesses continue to shift globally towards hybrid IT to enable new digital workplace models, create new lines of business, and control costs, Zayo and Digital Realty are in an excellent position to enable customers’ growth through a shared interest in globally secure, software-defined interconnection.

“We look forward to working together to power next-generation interconnection and security capabilities that will unlock the true potential of digital transformation.” 

This initiative builds upon new and existing innovative capabilities, including PlatformDIGITAL, Digital Realty’s global data centre platform, which already brings together over 4,000 participants in connected data communities around the world, as well as Zayo’s global fibre network. 

The new collaboration also follows Digital Realty’s recent announcement of its plan to build native SDN-enabled multi-platform orchestration and global fabric connectivity across its global platform. 

Digital Realty Chief Technology Officer Chris Sharp, said: “Our platform capabilities and the steps we are taking in collaboration with Zayo will serve as a force-multiplier in building the industry’s largest open fabric-of-fabrics to effectively address the growing intensity of enterprise data creation and its gravitational impact on IT architectures.” 

The REIT’s Data Gravity Index DGx projects that Forbes global 2000 enterprises will be adding storage at a combined rate of more than 620 terabytes per second for data aggregation and exchange across 53 metros by 2024. 

This rapid growth reflects a growing trend among global customers towards deploying and connecting large, private data infrastructure footprints across multiple global locations. 

In its turn, Gartner predicts that by 2023, over 50% of the primary responsibility of data and analytics leaders will comprise data created, managed, and analysed in edge environments. 

As a result, a new pervasive data centre infrastructure is needed to enable digitised endpoints and mobile users to fully participate in globally distributed workflows. By removing legacy barriers across the interconnection industry, the consortium approach seeks to enable connected data communities and to support transformative outcomes for customers across all industries. 


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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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