Data Center World 2023 Keynotes: What to Expect

Oracle, Dell, Equinix and Cloudflare executives are among the speakers at the annual global conference for data center professionals. Here’s what they’ll be talking about.

Wylie Wong, Regular Contributor

April 11, 2023

4 Min Read
past dcw keynote session

Are supply chain delays slowing down your plans to upgrade or build new data centers? Don’t know how to modernize your data center to support artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads? The upcoming Data Center World 2023 conference in May aims to help data center professionals navigate these and other pressing data center challenges.

Technology executives from Dell, Equinix, Oracle, Cloudflare and Compass Datacenters will share their strategies and best practices in their keynote speeches during the conference, which will take place in Austin, Texas from May 8 to May 11.

“This year, our focus at the conference continues to revolve around the most critical and core aspects of the data center industry. The goal, as a community, is to overcome some of the big challenges,” said Data Center World Program Chair Bill Kleyman. To combat supply chain shortages, for example, the conference will share creative ways data center operators can bring critical infrastructure online, he said.

“We will talk about how we manage these facilities and talk about the software piece – data-driven architecture, AI and machine learning,” Kleyman added. “We’re also going to focus on things like sustainability, power and battery architecture, and what organizations are doing around water conservation.”

Related:DCW 2022: Industrialized Construction Brings New Efficiencies to Modern Data Centers

Dr. Burcin Kaplanoglu, vice president of innovation at Oracle Industry Labs, will speak on “how robots and AI will change digital infrastructure." Meanwhile, a panel of executives will explore how data, fast network connectivity and new compute-heavy workloads – such as AI – are changing and modernizing data center infrastructure, and how leaders can prepare for a more connected, data-driven future.

The keynote panel – which is titled “Blurring the lines: How connectivity, data and now ChatGPT influence data centers” – features Shweta Saraf, Equinix’s head of network modernization; Rebecca Weekly, Cloudflare’s vice president of hardware systems engineering; and Garima Kochhar, Dell Technologies’ senior distinguished engineer working on high-performance computing and AI systems.

With these two DCW 2023 keynotes, conference planners want to focus the conversation on how data center operators can support AI, ML and neural network solutions because customers and users increasingly will demand it if they haven’t already, Kleyman said.

The industry is at the cusp of massive AI/ML adoption, and if data center operators don’t support these data-driven environments, they will be left behind, he said.

Related:DCW 2022: Non-technological Factors Are Set to Define the Future of IT

For example, in the future, enterprises can use long-language models and build their own AI chatbots – much like ChatGPT – that allow them to manage and monitor their IT infrastructure by asking it questions. However, while a single Google search can power a lightbulb for 11 seconds, a single ChatGPT session consumes 50 to 100 times more power, he said.

“You’re working with a highly dense, highly evolved architecture, and the reality for data center operators is that they either understand how it works and capture this business, or the hyperscalers – AWS, Azure and GCP – capture it, and then you have revenue bleed,” Kleyman said.  

In the panel discussion at DCW, the three executives will provide practical advice on how to build out the physical infrastructure, data management and connectivity to support AI/ML applications, said Kleyman, who will moderate the discussion.

A Discussion of Emerging Data Center Trends

Kleyman, a contributing editor with Data Center Knowledge, will also deliver the opening keynote, titled, “Up, up, and away! Data Centers in 2023,” in which he will share findings from the latest AFCOM State of the Data Center Report, which surveys data center professionals.

Kleyman said highlights include:

  • 94% of respondents are dealing with supply chain challenges. Of those, 44% suffered some form of outage because of supply chain constraints.  

  • 83% of respondents are repatriating some workloads from the cloud back to their on-premises data centers. Kleyman will explain which apps are being repatriated.

  • Ransomware remains the top security threat, but physical security – more specifically, outside and inside human threats – made the top five threats.  

  • 10% of those surveyed are exploring the use of nuclear-powered data centers. They are considering small modular reactors in a campus-based environment as an alternative power source.

Finally, futurist Kian Gohar will deliver a keynote speech focused on “Innovation and Convergence in the 21st Century,” while Chris Crosby, CEO of Compass Datacenters, will share best practices on how IT professionals can improve data center sustainability.

The three-day conference will include 80 other speakers who will speak in 55 sessions. For the full Data Center World 2023 schedule, click here.

About the Author(s)

Wylie Wong

Regular Contributor

Wylie Wong is a journalist and freelance writer specializing in technology, business and sports. He previously worked at CNET, Computerworld and CRN and loves covering and learning about the advances and ever-changing dynamics of the technology industry. On the sports front, Wylie is co-author of Giants: Where Have You Gone, a where-are-they-now book on former San Francisco Giants. He previously launched and wrote a Giants blog for the San Jose Mercury News, and in recent years, has enjoyed writing about the intersection of technology and sports.

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