The Data Center Frontier Executive Roundtable features insights from industry executives with lengthy experience in the data center industry. Here’s a look at the insights from Phillip Marangella of EdgeConneX.
Currently serving as the Chief Marketing Officer at EdgeConneX, Phillip Marangella has over 20 years of international marketing, strategy, and business development experience working in the Data Center, Telecom and Technology sectors for leading service providers. Prior to joining EdgeConneX, Phillip most recently worked for Equinix in various capacities in both marketing and business development. In addition, Phillip had stints at Coresite, Verizon, MCI, Nortel and Globalstar. Phillip was also a partner and founder of a tech consulting firm focused on international technology transfer and venture funding of university developed technology. Phillip is focused on developing, evangelizing and executing the marketing strategy and ecosystem development for the company. Phillip holds a Bachelors in Political Science from the University of California San Diego, and a Masters in Multinational Commerce from Boston University.
Here’s the full text of Phillip Marangella’s insights from our Executive Roundtable:
Data Center Frontier: Data center staffing was already a challenge as we entered 2020. What is the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on data center staffing and operations, both in the short-term and long-term?
Phillip Marangella: Now, more than ever, enterprises and hyperscalers require the ability to easily manage, monitor and enable their data center assets and operations across an expanding global footprint with a secure view into their infrastructure, from anywhere, at any time. With travel restrictions in place and remote work becoming quasi-permanent, access to remote monitoring and management solutions has become essential. While empowering organizations with business continuity, these solutions ensure the health and safety of IT staff, vendors, partners and customers.
To efficiently operate global data centers remotely and better serve customers, data center operating systems that go beyond the common DCIM platform are vital. These solutions, including the EdgeConneX proprietary EdgeOS solution, enable clients to manage, monitor and control their global data center assets, operations, and footprint from a single pane of glass, from anywhere, 24 hours a day.
Automating the data center as much as possible and putting the customer at the center of operational systems creates operational efficiency and scale to support the fastest response times for every type of customer, regardless of issue, size of deployment, need or location.
“With travel restrictions in place and remote work becoming quasi-permanent, access to remote monitoring and management solutions has become essential.”
Phillip Marangella, EdgeConneX
Data Center Frontier: How are enterprises sorting out their data center and cloud options in the shadow of the pandemic? What are the key questions and issues you are hearing in conversations with enterprise customers?
Phillip Marangella: As a wholesale data center operator, we do not directly focus on enterprises. However, our customers who are the world’s leading network, cloud and managed service providers do. Together, we are collaborating to help bring the cloud to the enterprise with a more localized and proximate cloud that solves for many of the latency, performance, security and economic impediments to adoption.
With the rapidly accelerating demand for cloud solutions and service resulting from the pandemic, we are seeing significant need to quickly scale capacity in both existing markets and new markets around the world. Our ability to quickly scale and build capacity on a just-in-time basis is key to meeting our customers’ needs globally.
Meanwhile, enterprises want choice and flexibility to connect to multiple cloud providers. EdgeConneX provides cloud on-ramp solutions directly from AWS, Microsoft and Oracle, as well as multi-cloud access solutions from Megaport, PacketFabric, Telia Carrier and NetFoundry. Then, by partnering with leading Managed Service Providers like Rackspace, Zenlayer, Ori Industries, Lume and others, they can help enterprises with their migration to the cloud and the right cloud for the right application in the right location.
In short, it’s about bringing together an integrated cloud supply chain together locally at the edge, where the customer wants it. EdgeConneX and its customers/partners are solving for all of those enterprise cloud migration challenges.
Data Center Frontier: The workforce is suddenly more distributed than ever. What’s your take on the current trajectory of edge computing? Has it been changed in any way by the pandemic?
Phillip Marangella: From what we’ve learned during the pandemic, there is little doubt that the operations and service strategies of cloud, content, network and other solution service providers will be forever changed. Our homes have essentially become the new edge, where we now work, study, game and entertain simultaneously. At the same time, new next-gen technologies such as IoT-enabled devices, autonomous vehicles, machine learning and AI tools, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and smart city applications, to name a few, will also place a strain on network infrastructure.
The combined increase in the volume, velocity and variety of data traffic flows coming from both scenarios will generate significant service delivery challenges. The solution to these network bottlenecks lies in edge data centers where network, cloud and content service providers can peer and optimize their traffic flows for both performance and cost. The edge is the lowest latency point of demarcation between service delivery and latency. Therefore, placing content, applications, compute games and data in general as proximate to end users as possible will be essential to ensure the quality of service and experience for customers.
Data Center Frontier: Power and cooling equipment are the heart of any data center. What’s the prognosis for the data center supply chain and the logistics of deploying new data center capacity?
Phillip Marangella: If there’s one thing COVID-19 has tested, it’s been supply chains and data center management processes. Here, diversity in procurement coupled with flexibility and agility in deployment capabilities is the solution to overcoming challenges.
Part of our strength as a company is the speed at which we can build our data center facilities. On average it is between 6-9 months. That is done, in part, by warehousing key equipment so that we can quickly deploy gear where it is needed globally. We also use multiple vendors and source from diverse locations so that we are not single-threaded. As such, we have not experienced any impediments in our build times during the pandemic. We continue to communicate and collaborate with our vendors to ensure that all of our current expansions and planned builds will be ready for service per our commitment to our customers.