Equinix CTO 10 year perspective, data center changes in highly connected Internet services

I had the pleasure of interviewing Equinix's CTO David Pickut as part of Equinix reaching its 50th data center.

Equinix Opens 50th Premier IBX Data Center

Equinix’s 50th IBX Data Center Opens in London; Will Help Company Service Global Demand From Financial Services Firms and Cloud Service Providers

FOSTER CITY, CA and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – March 30, 2010 – Equinix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX), a provider of global data center services, today announced a major company milestone: the opening of its 50th premier International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center. This announcement demonstrates Equinix’s ability to help its customers fully leverage all of the benefits of an interconnected world.

If you are not familiar with David here is some background.

David Pickut

David Pickut

Chief Technology Officer

Dave Pickut joined Equinix in 2004 and served in several roles before settling into his current role as Chief Technology Officer. Prior to joining Equinix, Mr. Pickut held Vice President positions with a Tier 1 ISP and an IT products/services company, with responsibilities for data center operations and business management. His engineering experience encompasses both consulting services and product design related to mission-critical data center power, cooling, security, controls, and fire protection systems.

Mr. Pickut received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State University and is a registered professional engineer, a member of the IEEE and NFPA.

The perspective I was looking for is David's view of the past 10 years and what the future looks like. Over the past 10 years, Dave has seen three big changes in data centers.

  1. Energy density in racks has gone up.
  2. Energy Efficiency awareness has increased.
  3. Transition from stand alone data center mindset to highly connected data centers.

This is best illustrated by drawings David provided.  Here is what data centers looked like 10 years ago.


And this is what data center design looks like it 2010


Note in the upper left of each of these slides the external forces affecting data centers. This is proof I was looking for that Equinix is on the right path to Green (low carbon) Data Centers.

The mass media industry will cover Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple data centers.  But, here is a simple way to understand the future of data centers.  David and I chatted about many more things regarding the future 10 years, and he said it is easy to build energy efficient cost effective data centers.  The hard part is accounting for the accelerating rate of external factors that now affect data center design.  Those who put their "head in the sand" and geek out are setting themselves up for unexpected reactions like Greenpeace's focus on Facebook's coal powered data center.

Facebook Responds on Coal Power in Data Center

February 17th, 2010 : Rich Miller

An architectural rendering of the new Facebook data center planned for Prineville, Oregon.

Facebook has responded to growing criticism of its power choices for its new data center in Prineville, Oregon. This is one of the first cases in which a data center’s energy sourcing has attracted this kind of public attention, but it won’t be the last. 

I am looking forward to more posts on what Equinix is doing, and their willingness to share ideas, and what the future of data centers look like.  In 2010, there is SaaS, Cloud Provider, Ethernet Exchange, and Mobile Carrier.  Can you imagine what 2020 will look like?