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Data Center Nation – Disclosing challenges and opportunities

Data Center Nation, probably the most important Italian event in the data center industry, has been held on 18th May in Milan at MiCo Milano Convention Center.
The big goal of the event was to connect various emerging hubs in the Italian data center world, bringing together the different stakeholders of the data center value chain, such as vendors of products and services, providers of cloud colocation solutions, consultants, and design firms and manufactures, as well as public administrations.

Among the key topics covered in the 25 panels were digital transformation and, not surprisingly, sustainability over the data center lifecycle and supply chain, with a focus on the challenges and opportunities that new technologies are bringing to the Italian data center sector.

Considering digital transformation, edge computing will be the real challenge. In the last decades, the centralization of digital services through hyperscale data centers has enhanced standardization, thus enabling higher efficiencies and consequently lowering consumption. However, to support the future growth of data-intensive and ultra-low latency applications, such as high-definition streaming media, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, and industrial 4.0, we also need to place new compute and storage resources in distributed local edge data centers. Deploying these data centers at scale and in a wide range of environments presents unique challenges for power and cooling, energy efficiency, management, and maintenance. Addressing these challenges will require enormous efforts and the full commitment of the stakeholders of the whole data center industry. Of particular importance will be the establishment of a circular economy to limit the use of material and spatial resources. As several panelists stressed, solutions for a more circular economy not only are beneficial to the environment but can also become opportunities for stakeholders, as well as for local communities. For example, panelists mentioned the increase in asset values obtainable through re-use and refurbishment or the benefit for the local communities derived from the reclamation of brownfields or old buildings for the construction of the new data centers.

Several companies showed they are proposing solutions to contribute to a sustainable digital transformation. However, much more needs and can be done, through the synergy of data center stakeholders, together with the public administration.

See the agenda of the event at

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