BroadGroup Datacloud Awards 2018: An inside perspective

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Preparing for the biggest night in the data centre and cloud industry awards calendar, Alex Rabbetts, MD European Data Centre Association (EUDCA) give us his expectations for next year’s Datacloud Awards and some of the things to look out for.  

Nominations have opened for the 11th Datacloud Awards, BroadGroup’s revered annual celebration of the best companies, individuals and technologies in data centre and cloud industry. On the June 12 2018 in the breath-taking Salle des Etoiles at the legendary venue of Le Sporting Club Monaco a total of 19 accolades will be handed out to celebrate inspiration, innovation and the highest standards of excellence shown in IT delivery and infrastructure.

Taking home a Datacloud honour is regarded by many as the pinnacle in the data centre and cloud industry awards calendar – the equivalent of an Oscar in the acting world.

As a market that has embraced the use of data centre infrastructure and technology to improve the economy, the environment and society, this year’s awards will be particularly difficult to judge with more categories presided over by an independent panel of 21 judges, who are chosen for their knowledge, vision and above anything else, impartiality. Datacloud gongs are held in the highest regard.

As a longstanding judge and data centre industry veteran I am always excited to see what entries will look like. There are usually some standout nominations from people who have put a lot of time and effort into their response and it is always good to see them.

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Trends

Throughout 2017, transformational developments such as Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and 8K are all purported to be driving both hyperscale and edge-computing deployments. Today’s reality is slightly different.

While innovative, IoT hasn’t quite captured everyone’s imagination nor reached critical mass, and may not, for some time yet. AI is just beginning to come into play in the IT infrastructure sphere. Not necessarily as the central object, but more on the periphery. Building management is becoming much more intelligent with AI enabled plant able to switch up, down or off, depending upon loads or report on their own health status. Other trends that are coming more into focus include edge data centres and edge deployments of applications and data.  2018 could be ‘prime time’ for many of these technologies.

Technology before its time

The next best thing is always exciting, and often the most glamorous, but I say this with the slightest tinge of scepticism. I remember well all the hype about the meteoric rise of blade servers. At the time we were led to believe that multiple thin-server modules were about to change the world (however, nobody actually worked out how they were going to be powered or cooled efficiently).

Cloud is another; a technology that exploded onto the market (a decade ago) ahead of its time as the answer to everything. Cloud did change many things but the prediction that everyone would move everything to cloud has not turned out to be the case.

That same kind of hype surrounds IoT today but it hasn’t transpired to be the hot topic that it was predicted to be. I think that it will be AI and VR that will be the most talked about technologies of the immediate future. Seeing how they are deployed (like in driverless cars or using VR in medical environments) and whether they become reality or just hype is exciting.

With an expanded category list the 2018 awards will be the most competitive in its history.  The Excellence in Data Centre Service Award has been split into two this time round; for global and local impact.

Historically regional operators may have felt that they could never compete with global players and didn’t submit an entry. The truth is that we wanted to recognise the fantastic and sometimes leading-edge work regional operators were doing so we made this change. Excellence in Cloud Service will also benefit from a transition to global and local options.

I am often asked how to win one of these awards and people are surprised by the simplicity of my response: Answer the questions asked and meet the brief.

You’d be surprised at the number that don’t. When you consider the number of categories and individual responses, it can really get tiresome trawling through irrelevant ‘marketing speak’ before you reach the body of someone’s entry. There is no better way to turn a judge off than to begin your response with a bunch or marketing statements!

Call for entries

With nominations closing on the March 30 2018 there’s still plenty of time to enter. Bagging one of these much-coveted prizes will make you part of a select group who are recognised as defining the future of the global data economy.

Nominations are open at: http://www.datacloudawards.com/categories

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