Digital Realty opened a new global operations command center in Clifton, New Jersey, that continuously monitors and manages its 198 data centers around the world. It comes as the company pulls out all the stops to woo hyperscalers to its colocation facilities.
In addition to monitoring data center health and performance, staff at the new facility provide centralized network and infrastructure monitoring, product support, event management, and security for the company’s 2,300-plus customers.
“We have 11 years of five-nines of availability in our data centers,” said Erich Sanchack, executive vice president of operations at Digital Realty. He’s referring to the company’s 11 consecutive years with 99.999 percent of uptime. “This is a continued investment and enhancement of that five-nines of availability.”
The command center also enables advanced communications coordination and standardization for major events and threat conditions for effective regional readiness. For example, Digital Realty staff at all facilities are kept apprised of weather changes — such as a major storm — and other events through real-time updates. They can then monitor these developments to understand their impact on local environmental and municipal services.
“We’re interconnected across the entire globe,” Sanchack said. “If a particular customer has an event that can put their resiliency at risk, which could be as simple as scheduled maintenance, or could be a heightened workload coming in the U.S., we can have a discussion about how they want to manage that.”
Of course, all of this requires intelligent software. And Sanchack says the company uses a mixture of homegrown and third-party providers. “We don’t want to give out the ingredients to our secret sauce, but we are partnering with some industry suppliers and they are evolving the analytics capabilities. We use a suite of products and we also develop some in house.”
Predictive Analytics, AI Coming Soon
The new command center also positions Digital Realty for the future of data center management, he added. “By investing in this infrastructure now, we can build on this infrastructure so we can start doing more predictive analytics and start to use AI to have it automated,” Sanchack explained, adding that this will come in handy as customers start to manage megawatts of workloads. “We’re not there yet, but we wouldn’t be able to do that unless we had made this investment into the facility.”
“As a result of this infrastructure, the reliability, the availability, and the interconnected nature of our product offerings, it starts leading to bigger and bigger deals,” Sanchack said. “We’re having record-breaking orders come in, and these are large hyperscale deals, upwards of 20-, 24-, 30-megawatt deals.”