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Data Center Summit: “New Jersey is at the Center of the Digital Universe”

| March 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

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Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey, Inc.
One Meadowlands Plaza, Suite 1100
East Rutherford, New Jersey 07073

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Release Date: Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Media Contact: Evelyn Weiss Francisco (201) 796-7788

New Jersey Technology Council Event focuses on broad range of Data Center Issues

EATONTOWN, N.J., Mar. 5, 2014 – The topic was “New Jersey at the Center of the Digital Universe” at the New Jersey Technology Council Data Center Summit at Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, and the statistics unveiled at the event bore out that premise. “New Jersey is the largest data center market in the country, and possibly the world,” Jeff West, global director of data center research for Cushman & Wakefield, told attendees of the event, which focused on everything from data center infrastructure,  operations, business intelligence, analytical systems and solutions.

The New Jersey data center market consists of two submarkets, explained Sean Brady, senior director and co-founder of Cushman & Wakefield’s Data Center Advisory Group. The Northern New Jersey market extends from New York’s southern Rockland County to the north down to Newark. This market has  had “more than 1.5 million square feet of new product delivered in the past year and a half alone,” said Brady. The Southern New Jersey market extends from Union and northern Middlesex counties to Bridgewater in Somerset County, and west of I-287.

“Those markets combined total approximately 6.5 million square feet of third-party data center space, and that number is still growing,” Brady said. Main attractions include the tri-state region’s best fiber network and lowest power costs.”

Working from north to south, other tri-state data center markets outlined by Brady included:

  • Connecticut’s Fairfield and New York’s Westchester counties, which have a combined inventory of approximately 574,000 square feet. “The demand we are seeing in both of these markets combined today is about four to seven megawatts,” said Brady.
  • The Manhattan market, made up of high-rise office or multi-story industrial buildings with high ceilings and heavy floor loads. “There are nine major data center buildings totaling 11.5 million square feet, but not all of that is data center space,” he said.
  • The Long Island market, extending from Brooklyn to western Suffolk County, which features 18 providers and between six and nine megawatts of tenants.

Back in New Jersey, Fort Monmouth provided an appropriate venue for the event as the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) continues its efforts to redevelop the shuttered U.S. Army base. Cushman & Wakefield is marketing the 1,127-acre property, and data centers are one of the targets. Indeed, as noted by Christopher Kinum, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield, “CommVault, a provider of data management solutions, is currently constructing a new headquarters campus on the Fort. The initial 275,000-square-foot first phase of what will be a 650,000-square-foot complex will open in 2014.”

On the subject of data center locations in general, “site selection doesn’t come down to a specific checklist,” said Peter Skae of Skae Power Solutions, a provider of engineering services. Most of the items traditionally on checklists are given requirements for a data center, like power and fiber. The process must involve the intended use, accessibility to key personnel, and security.”

Specific events can change things, however. “The lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy can impact the importance of location with regard to flood plains and access for people and fuel,” said Chris Downie, CEO of Telx, a third-party data center operator. “We saw first-hand after the harrowing days of Sandy that the 100- and 500-year flood maps are being rewritten.

“The continued efforts to plan maintenance and operations for secured environments and networks that ‘never’ go down through an alignment of design, certification and governance initiatives is more important than ever,” Downie said.

And, overall “there still seems to be a lot of uncertainty of what the Cloud will evolve into over the next three to five years,” said Skae. “The definition changes as uses for the Cloud change, and this could be the biggest transformation we have seen in the data center industry in many years.”

Moderating a panel on “Innovations in Data Center Construction,” Randy Ortiz of Internap Network Services, a provider of IT infrastructure services, addressed the subject of the most influential technologies. “There have not been one or two major technologies, but rather small steps in such areas as modular infrastructure, computational fluid dynamics and DCIM software,” he said.

As to DCIM (data center infrastructure management) software in particular, “while it is in its infancy, it has tremendous growth potential,” said Ortiz. “DCIM software manages IT and data center infrastructure to form that elusive bridge between IT and facilities. It will continue to evolve – less than 40 percent of data center operators utilize it, but the prediction is that by 2016, 60 percent of all data centers will have DCIM software.”

“The value in an external DCIM system for us is the ability to combine space and power into a single source of record,” explained Matt Gleason of Coresite, a national operator of data centers. “We have always done both individually with success, but the single platform increased the efficiency and accuracy of our inventory.”

On the subject of “big data,” power usage effectiveness (PUE) “as a governing metric for where capital investments should be made ignores a number of critical factors,” said Gleason. “We’re working on new metrics that incorporate utility rates and volume of power usage at all levels to provide a better comparison between multiple data centers.”

Sean Brady assisted Leo Mennitt , VP of publications and business development of the New Jersey Technology Council in securing the speakers for the Data Center Infrastructure and Operations Track, which was the second half of the Summit. “All these speakers enjoyed the programs, and it provided a fantastic networking environment at Fort Monmouth,” said Brady.

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