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Inside Data Centre Podcast

Author: Andy Davis

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My name is Andy Davis and I am the host of the Inside Data Centre Podcast. On this podcast I will interview the people working in the data centre sector across the globe and tell their stories.. How did they first enter the sector? How have they developed their career? What are the challenges faced by the industry as it rapidly expands? What advice can they give others looking to work in the sector? If you work in the data centre sector, or you want to work in the sector, then this is the podcast for you.
144 Episodes
In this episode of the Hot Topics series I am joined by Nancy Lamb, Ed Cooke and Sarah Fox. We bring together the industry experts to discuss a solution to data centre procurement and commercial contracts.Nancy outlines the current challenges within the industry and her experience working closely with contractors and clients during the construction of major data centre facilities.  Nancy outlines the findings from a recent survey and the views of those working in the industry. Finally we discuss some solutions of how the industry can improve.Ed discusses the current contracts used within the industry with a particular focus on the benefits of using the alliancing model and why this would be a good model for the data centre industry to utilise going forward.Sarah demonstrates the benefits of using digital contracts and why the data centre industry needs to embrace this way of working. Sarah shatters the myth that digital contracts are simply an online form and outlines the significant benefits of using this technology.Finally we come up with a solution for how the industry can become a leader in the use of collaborative, streamlined, digital construction contracts. 
In this episode of the Hot Topics series I am joined by Todd Murren, General Manager at BlueBird Underground, a 6MW Bluebird Networks underground data center located in Missouri, US. The Bluebird Underground data center is located 85 feet underground in a disused mine. 100% of the critical systems are located underground and the facility is built to N+1 standards. They have recently undertaken a 10000 sqft extension to meet increased demand.Todd discusses the benefits and challenges of being located underground and why customers look to Bluebird Underground for network services.We also discuss why Bluebird chose an underground location, the geological and meteorological challenges offered by an underground location, the cooling benefits of being underground, and how the environment impacts on the data centers operation.Todd has extensive experience in the sector and he shares some great insight in to operating an underground data center. 
In this weeks episode I am joined by Mike Tobin OBE.  This episode includes swimming with sharks, boardroom bust-ups, getting shot at in South Africa, many important life lessons, and how you take a business from making a significant loss to a highly profitable multi billion pound data centre company! We discuss Mike's highly successful career which he has put down on paper in his book 'Lifting the Floor', how he achieved his success, and his views on the data centre industry.Mike had an eventful start to life which included being shot at in South Africa and living in a squat with his family in London. At the age of 16 Mike was accepted onto an apprenticeship scheme which was the start of a highly successful career in engineering and eventually within the data centre sector.We discuss how Mike became CEO of Redbus at a time when the company was in financial difficulty. Following some good fortune, many boardroom bust-ups and a lot of hard work Redbus became TeleCity and Mike took the business to a £2bn+ turnover company.  We also talk about luck, what makes a great leader, and the importance of building great teams and surrounding yourself with the best people. Mike is now involved in a non-exec capacity for many businesses across the world and he has an excellent view of the global data centre industry.  And if you make it to the end you will receive some excellent advice!
In the first episode of the Hot Topics series I speak with Jim Hart from Business Critical Solutions about the impact of Covid on the data centre industry.First we look back to a report conducted by Business Critical Solutions (BCS) at the start of the pandemic - 'New Normal, New Thinking'. We talk about what developers and service providers were thinking at this stage and how it was impacting on the growth plans of the sector.We then look at the latest report released by BCS - 'Covid, the lasting legacy'. We discuss how the pandemic has dramatically changed the landscape of the data centre industry and how it has resulted in a period of change and rapid growth. We also discuss how the industry has adapted and what lessons we have all learnt during the last 12 months.This is a whistle stop review of the last 12 months in the data centre industry! Check out the BCS report on this link -
On this episode I am joined by Brian Green, EVP of Operations, Engineering & Project Management at Edgeconnex. Brian is very passionate about company culture and creating opportunities in the data center sector for veterans. Brian shares how he started his career in the US Navy and how he made the progression to the data centre sector. He outlines why his experience in the Navy was so valuable, and the reasons why veterans are well suited to the data center sector.We discuss Edgeconnex and their rapid growth across the globe. Brian outlines some of the current regions they are developing in, and where we can expect to see further developments. We also cover a number of key topics within the sector, including the growth of the industry, attracting and developing talent, power challenges, and the challenges we can expect to face in 2024.Learn more about Edgeconnex here - 
On this episode I am joined by Henry Sutton. We discuss the inaugural Touchdown Middle East event that is taking place in Bahrain on November 21st and 22nd 2023. We also discuss some of the key trends in the Gulf region.Henry provides an overview of Touchdown Middle East, the reasons behind the event, why it is important for the region, some of the topics on the agenda, and what else attendees can expect from the event.Henry also shares an update on the region and outlines some of the regions that are experiencing the most activity in the current market.Find details and tickets for the event here -
In this episode I am joined by Chris Baxter and David West of Apto. Apto is a new European Data Centre developer targeting high growth and emerging markets across Europe with cutting edge hyperscale data centre facilities.Firstly, Chris & David share their career journeys and why they made the decision to join Apto.We then discuss Apto and the plans for the new organisation. Chris & David share the story behind Apto, the regions they are looking to target, what makes them different in the European marketplace, and the benefits of working for a secure start-up organisation.Finally, we discuss some of the challenges faced by the industry, and Chris & David offer some advice to those looking to start a career in the sector.Learn more about Apto here -
In this episode I am joined by Richard Irwin, Hayley Godlieb, and Joe Pavitt, the founders of networking event GeN+1: The Networking Event for the generation that will shape the future of the Data Centre industry.Richard, Hayley and Joe talk us through the reasons behind creating GeN+1, why the event is so important, and how the event can evolve in the future.The data centre sector needs more talent, and we need to make the sector inclusive for the future generation. Events like this remove the intimidation of standard networking events, and offer the opportunity for young people to expand their networks in this ever expanding sector.The next event is on November 2nd in London. You can register for tickets here - GeN+1 Halloween Networking Event Tickets, Thu, Nov 2, 2023 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite
In this episode I interview some of the leaders, students, and sponsors of the UTC Heathrow Digital Futures Programme. An education programme developed to help manage the skills challenge in the data centre sector.Firstly I speak with the programme leaders. They share why the programme is so important, what the programme offers to the students, and why it is so important that programmes like this are part of the education system.I then speak with some of the students who share their experiencing of being part of the programme. They share how the learning differs from standard education, why they decided to follow this route, and what they hope to achieve in the future.Finally I speak with two of the sponsors of the programme. They share their experiences of being a partner and why it is so important to their organisations to give back to the sector.The passion of all involved is contagious, and this programme is a great example of how collaboration can make a huge difference to young peoples lives.Learn more about the programme here -
In this episode I am joined by Joseph McCracken, Project Director for Gleeds. We discuss the overall perception of the industry, the challenge in finding talent, and the current landscape of the European data centre sector.Joseph shares how he started his career, how he made the move to the data centre sector, and how he has made the transition to a new role in Portugal. We then discuss Gleeds and their offering to the data centre market, and how this has evolved as the sector has developed. We also cover the overall perception of the industry, the challenges around attracting and retaining talent, and some of the key challenges faced by the sector.Learn more about Gleeds here -
In this episode I am joined by Michael Kokal, CEO and Founder of Kodis who provide custom solutions for complex supply chain. We discuss the impact of the delivery chain on data center project delivery.Michael outlines why he founded Kodis and the evolution of the organisation, and some of his learnings along this journey.We then discuss the importance of the delivery chain within the data center construction process, and the commercial impact achieved by a streamlined and efficient process. Michael also shares his views on some of the challenges faced within the data center sector, from overall perception to supply chain challenges. Michael is very passionate about how the sector can further develop by increased collaboration.
On this episode I am joined by Ivo Brook and Michelle Irwin from Hanson Wade. We discuss the event 'Advancing Data Center Construction' and the key topics that are on this years agenda.You can secure a discount on the event ticket with the below code. Discount code: IDC10 (10% off registration)Tracked link to event guide: link to register page: and Michelle share an overview of the event, they talk about how this event differs from others on the calendar, some of the key topics on the agenda, and an insight to the amazing speakers in attendance. Advancing Data Centre Construction takes place on November 6 - 8 at Overland Park, Kansas City.
In this episode I am joined by Jeff Barber, Vice President Global Data Center Sales at Bloom Energy. Bloom are bringing a unique solution to the data center sector to help manage the long term power challenge.Jeff outlines how he started his career and how he found his way into the world of data centres. We then discuss the ongoing power challenge in the sector and how the sector can continue to meet the ever increasing demand. We discuss various alternative power sources, including Hydrogen fuel cells and micro-grids, and how they can impact power supply as well as sustainability.Jeff also shares how AI is going to impact the sector and what impact that will have on power demand.Learn more about Bloom here -
In this episode I am joined by Jane Hsieh, Senior Director of Sales at Aligned Data Centers. Jane is very passionate about developing future talent, and making the data center sector a more diverse and inclusive sector.Jane shares her career story, from starting out in the world of networks to her current role in a leading data center developer. Jane outlines the importance of people when we talk about sustainability, and how we can ensure the sector is able to meet the ever increasing demand. We discuss how we can attract more talent to the sector and the importance of focussing on retention.Jane outlines how we can ensure women have the opportunity to achieve leadership positions. We discuss the importance of diverse leadership, how we can ensure the sector is more inclusive, and the importance of role models.Jane is very passionate about the sector and offers great advice on how we can make the sector a more attractive and inclusive place to be.
In this episode I am joined by Colby Cox, Managing Director Americas of Data Center market intelligence platform DC Byte. Colby shares his story in the sector and a snapshot of all the current activity in the Americas.Colby had a successful career in sales before he made the move to the data centre sector. He outlines how he found the transition to the data centre sector, and his advice for others following a similar jooruney.Colby then shares an insight to the data behind the data center sector in the Americas. He provides an overview of the market, the georgraphies where we are seeing development now and what the future holds, and the impact AI / HPC will have on the ever expanding data center market.Finally we discuss some of the challenges faced by the sector, and Colby offers his advice to others looking to work in the sector.Learn more about DC Byte here - 
On this episode I am joined by Chris Thomson and Liss Boot-Handford from Broadgroup, the team behind the industry leading events, Datacloud. Chris & Liss give us an insight to Datacloud - the foundations of the event, where we can see them next, some of the amazing initiatives being introduced to the events, and the future of events in the data centre sector.Chris shares an update on Datacloud Global Congress, the flagship event of the series. 2024 will see the event move from Monaco to Cannes which creates some amazing opportunities to expand the event offering.We cover Datacloud USA that is taking place in Austin, Texas, on the 11th-12th September. Liss shares some of the key topics on the agenda being covered by an industry leading group of speakers.We also cover Datacloud ESG Summit that takes place in Oslo (Norway) on 26th and 27th September. An ever increasingly important subject that now has it's own place on the Datacloud calendar.Events are an amazing way to bring the sector together, and as the sector grows, so does the event offering.Datacloud USA - ESG Summit - Global Congress -
In this episode I am joined by Sean Graham, Research Director at IDC. Sean gives us a great insight to the research behind some of the key challenges in the data centre sector.Sean discusses a recent blog where he covered how the sector is struggling to keep up with the ever increasing demand while also managing all the challenges around energy use.Sean then outlines some of the statistics around new developments and which regions are seeing the most growth.The final topic we cover is the impact of AI on the sector and other elements that are going to impact the short and mid-term growth.This is a great insight to some of the data behind the data centre sector.
In this episode I am joined by Celina Berglund, She-E-O at Brogav Solutions. We discuss life as a female CEO in the data centre sector and how we can improve gender diversity within the sector.Celina shares how she started her career and what led to her making the decision to start Brogav Solutions. Celina also gives an insight to what it is like as a female in a male dominated sector.We then discuss Brogav Solutions and why Celina made the decision to start the company. Celina shares how she has grown the company and the challenges along the journey. We also cover some of the key challenges faced in the sector and how Brogav is working to address these.Finally we talk more around diversity and what we can all do to make the sector a welcoming place for everyone.
On this episode I am joined by Joe Mady, CEO of DCT, a digital construction specialist. Joe shares the story behind his career and gives an insight to the impact digital construction is having on the data centre sector.Joe shares his career journey and outlines how he made the move into BIM, and then how he progressed to establishing DCT.We then discuss how DCT has grown since Joe first established the company  in 2018. They now have a workforce of over 50 people spread across four locations. We discuss how digital construction has evolved, the impact this has had on the data centre sector, and what technology is going to impact the sector in the future.Joe also gives an insight to his experience working with the next generation of talent, including how we can attract more talent my utilising the technology. You can download the Digital Construction Pack here -
On this episode I am joined by Bill Kleyman and we take a deep dive into the world of generative AI. To start Bill gives us a brief history of his career and how he found his way into the world of data centres. Bill has a great insight to the world of Generative AI and how it will impact the data centre sector. He shares his experiences learned from Neu.Ro and some examples of where AI is already making an impact. Finally we take a broader look at AI and how it is going to impact our every day lives. Will AI take our job? And how can we use AI to ensure we are maximising its potential?Bill is very passionate about the world of data centres and this is an excellent insight into the amazing world of Generative AI.Learn more about Neu.Ro here -
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