Data Center News Roundup: Industry Momentum Continues, AI Innovation at Microsoft Ignite

In this week's top data center news stories, industry investments top $16B and Microsoft goes all out on AI.

James Walker

November 17, 2023

5 Min Read
Data Center News Roundup: Top Data Center News
pichetw / Alamy Stock Photo

With data center news moving faster than ever, we want to make it easy for industry professionals to cut through the noise and find the most important stories of the week.

The Data Center Knowledge News Roundup brings you the latest news and developments across the data center industry – from investments and mergers to security threats and industry trends.

To keep up to date with all things data centers, subscribe to the Data Center Knowledge newsletter to get content straight to your inbox.

Positive Outlook

Despite the challenging economic headwinds, momentum continued across the data center industry in the first nine months of 2023, according to a new report.

Fresh analysis from Linklaters indicates that $16 billion has been invested in new data center projects globally in the January to September period.

Europe has seen the most deals involving data centers since 2022, while North America continues to lead in terms of transaction value.

"Looking to the remainder of 2023 and into 2024, we are at an interesting junction as many of the data centers are coming to the end of their five-to-seven-year cycle," said Linklaters partner David Martin.

"We should expect to see increasingly high volumes of deal activity within this space as strong macro trends, including cloud computing and AI continue and sponsors look to spin out assets or sell off shares to stabilize and attract new investors.”

Related:Microsoft Ignite 2023 Envisions AI as an Everyday Reality

The Linklaters report came on the heels of Turner & Townsend's 2023 Data Center Cost Index, which noted that demand for data center construction was at an "all-time high," but hurdles to delivery are getting higher too.

AI Chip Innovation

The tech spotlight was fixed firmly on Seattle this week, as Microsoft hosted its annual Ignite conference.

As expected, AI dominated the show, with CEO Satya Nadella highlighting the sector's rapid advancements since the introduction of ChatGPT a year ago.

"We're entering this exciting new phase of AI where… we're getting into the details of product making, deployment, safety, real productivity gains – all the real-world issues," Nadella said.

During Microsoft Ignite 2023, the tech giant unveiled its first homegrown AI chip and cloud-computing processor.

The Maia 100 chip will provide Microsoft Azure cloud customers with a new way to develop and run AI programs that generate content.

Microsoft is already testing the chip with its Bing and Office AI products, said Rani Borkar, who oversees Azure's chip unit.

The announcement came as Nvidia, the world's most valuable chipmaker, unveiled the H200, an updated version of its flagship processor that features high-bandwidth memory to cope with increasingly large datasets needed for AI.

Related:How a New Two-Phase System Aims to Revolutionize Data Center Cooling

New Data Center Developments

In data center investment news this week, Digital Realty has partnered with Realty Income to support the development of two build-to-suit data centers in Northern Virginia.

In Loudoun County, Virginia, TA Realty has signed a 430 MW lease agreement with a "premier global cloud services provider" for its entire data center campus.

The agreement includes leases across five buildings over the sprawling 1.9 million-square-foot project. Construction is expected to be completed in 2027.

In Europe, CyrusOne announced the topping out of its state-of-the-art MAD1 data center development in Madrid, Spain.

CyrusOne acquired the five-acre site in 2021. The two-story data center will deliver 18 MW across 6,000 square meters of technical space. 

The news came as investment firm ACS Group unveiled it was also planning a new data center in Madrid after it purchased a parcel of land in Alcalá de Henares. The project will be developed over the next five years.

Tomorrow's Tech

While growth in the data center industry is expected to continue at pace, the need for fresh technology innovations is more pronounced than ever.

This week, Data Center Knowledge writer Joe Milan took a deep dive into the Hybrid Mechanical Capillary-Drive Two-Phase Loop (HTPL), a two-phase cooling system that aims to make traditional cooling a thing of the past.

Dr. Chanwoo Park, project lead of the HTPL project at the University of Missouri, said that “water consumption remains at zero throughout its operation, with the only exceptions being maintenance events.”

In other tech news, data center science fiction may have taken a step closer to reality after researchers outlined a new system featuring floating IT facilities that utilize the naturally low temperature in the stratosphere for cooling. 

According to a team of researchers, data center-enabled high-altitude platforms could realize huge energy efficiencies owing to the naturally low temperature in the stratosphere and their ability to harvest solar energy.

Other Great Reads on DCK This Week

Wireless Data Centers: Benefits and Limitations. Is the idea of wireless data centers just a dream, or are there practical use cases for wireless networking in data centers today? We look at the pros and cons.

Rethinking Physical Data Center Security in the Digital Age. With digital and physical data center security closely intertwined, are fobs and key cards enough?

Rackspace Ransomware Costs Soar to Nearly $12m. Rackspace's 2022 ransomware attack costs only continue to mount, with lawsuits in the offing – and show the long-tail costs of a cyber-attack.

‘Tidal Wave’ of AI Spending to Power Tech Bull Market. Investors are underestimating the $1tn of AI spend that’s set to happen over the next decade, according to analysts.

About the Author(s)

James Walker

James Walker is the Senior Editor of Data Center Knowledge. He has more than 16 years of experience writing for business and technology publications, with a focus on translating technical issues to make them more accessible and engaging.

Before joining DCK, James was editor of The Daily Swig, an award-winning cybersecurity news website, and his work has been featured in The Times and BBC Online, among other publications. His first full-length book, HIT: Once Upon a Field, was published in 2023.

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