10 Mar 2023
Like many of our industry colleagues we've spent Wednesday and Thursday of this week at the Tech Show London, at ExCel, and it's been a brilliant couple of days. It certainly felt like the industry used the opportunity to finally come together after some turbulent pandemic-affected years and it was good to see people away from a Zoom call and finally shake some hands.
Kao Data's proposition has changed considerably since we were last able to exhibit at an Expo of this size and scale. Not only have we moved from one data centre to three (with a fourth, KLON-02, just around the corner) we now have 100MW under operation, in development or planned, our team has almost doubled, we've secured a whole range of world-class customers, won some awards and we've got our sights set on new and exciting data centre destinations.
Given all of those discussion points there was a lot to talk about and wow....did we do some talking! I've never known a show to be busier - walkways were packed, we had hundreds of delegates at the stand and by 5pm on both days we were very happy for a cold beer or two!
However, before all of that good stuff we need to mention the superb team at Quadrant2Design who seamlessly designed and built our terrific stand which got rave reviews. So, a huge thank you to Wiebke and Violet for all the careful planning and to Slava (pictured below) who erected our stand in record time and without a hitch. Our stand was also complimented by Steve and his team at Precision Events who supplied all our A/V. Working with a group of ultra-professionals like that made our job easier, and allowed us to concentrate on what we needed to do the following day.
Day one, and despite waking up to find snow and sleet in East London, our team made it in on time and we were non-stop all day talking to our current clients, prospects, partners and suppliers on their upcoming data centre projects. It was really evident just how incredibly busy the industry is right now and this is all despite some common challenges which we are all tackling.
These issues include challenges around power availability, how new technologies like liquid cooling and quantum are being considered, how the landscape between on-premise, colo and cloud is evolving, how companies often get that 'cloud-first' jump all wrong (on that, well worth talking to John Hyde at Cloudsphere who was exhibiting opposite to us) the increasing importance sustainability and ESG generally is playing, thankfully, in buying decisions and how data centres are being perceived by the public and media at large.
It was also great to have our founder, David Bloom, from Goldacre NOÉ group with us on the frontline, meeting our industry partners and and our wider team. In between discussions, my colleagues led by Mike, Fraser, Samir, Tom and Howard were also able to mentor the 'Digital Futures' students from UTC Heathrow around their first data centre exhibition. The UTC Heathrow Digital Futures programme led by Mike, Candace and Sarah is such an important quest to help solve the skills gap our industry is facing and there is nothing more inspiring than meeting young people (all in their yellow polos) who are enthusiastic and keen to play a part in how the industry develops. The students certainly kept our team on our toes, especially Ilkay who is a glowing example of the kind of engineering and technical talent coming out of the programme.
Day two continued in the same vein with a busy trade show floor and our colleagues at Spa Communications helping us in telling Kao Data's story as they have done since the the year we were founded. You know you've got great suppliers when you start to forget while introducing them, they're a supplier! And, on the subject of excellent suppliers one of the highlights of day two was seeing the newly rendered CFD modelling Cadence (and their team who were formerly Future Facilities) have put together based on our Harlow data centre, KLON-01.
You can view some of this footage on their website and Nicola, Lucy and the rest of their team have expertly been able to show how our data centres in Harlow keep PUE low and servers operating efficiently via our in-direct evaporative cooling infrastructure. We will definitely be back for more of those videos!
With some very tired feet we brought day two to a close and our team packed-up, ready to go back to our desk-jobs. All in all it was a fantastic couple of days and a great opportunity to meet hundreds of industry colleagues and talk to them about Kao Data's plans for the future and how we can help solve their colocation issues through our infrastructure and team.
A huge thank you to the Kao Data team who joined us over the two days - Lee, Paul, Spencer, Mike, Rod, Alfie, Fraser, Faisal, Tom, Putty, Howard, Charlotte, Samir, Dimitar, Jason, Richard and James. And, Rory, Simon and Olly who underneath their Spa Communications tops, are basically wearing Kao Data navy!
The next exhibition we will be exhibiting at is DTX Manchester between 17-18 May, so we look forward to seeing everyone on the trade show floor again soon.