11 Dec 2020
I have always enjoyed sitting down and watching Formula One racing at the weekend and this Sunday my son and I will be avidly watching the F1 season finale at Yas Marina – one of the calendar’s most spectacular circuits. In my younger days, I fancied myself as a race car driver, as many young men do. What I love, though, about F1 is regardless if you are a fan or not, we all benefit from the tech-fest on the circuit.
The design, engineering and development conducted by F1 racing teams is executed to the highest possible standards. They are the pinnacle of their industry, they relentlessly pursue technical excellence. When a millimetre (or less) of design can be the difference between winning and losing, attention to detail is of the utmost importance. What Mercedes learns in designing a car for Lewis Hamilton will, no doubt, permeate throughout the rest of their production line and influence what happens in the automobile market. Who knows, it might eventually even make my M25 commute more enjoyable!
I see this as a great analogy to the data centre industry. At Kao Data, we house cutting edge technology for the most powerful supercomputing solutions available on the planet today. When I look at the work our customers are doing across bioinformatics, life sciences, artificial intelligence, financial services and more, I see sustainable, efficient and scalable computing solving real world problems at industrial scale. The team here at Kao Data has set the standard for best-in-class colocation data centre design that specifically addresses the needs for the next generation of high performance computing (HPC).
It’s week four for me at Kao Data and a good time to reflect on some of the reasons I decided to join the company. One of those was to see where our technical excellence takes our customers next. I have spent my career managing mission-critical digital infrastructure across the telco, software, cloud services, data centres and connectivity sectors. I’m fascinated by figuring out how to provide services that become critical to the customer’s business and joining them in solving business issues. In my earlier career that consisted of ensuring media production was seamless so a news story wasn’t dropped or the final few minutes of a vital football match was broadcast without a hitch. Those moments don't come around again, so you can’t risk the technology not working. Like that hot lap in F1, there is no second chance and the quality of service and delivery was essential.
I’m a firm believer that to be successful in business you need to focus on your customers business outcomes. As a data centre operator, we don't just provide connectivity, space and power. We provide the ability for our customers to drive ever more powerful applications. The most important questions we ask centre around how to help them be more productive. How can we make production times quicker for our clients? How can we make their datasets run faster? How can we help them use less power to achieve their goals? How can we help their business innovate and grow? By adopting the very best technology in combination with our expertise in high performance computing infrastructure, our customers can work seamlessly day in and day out driving their core business and, in some instances, help contribute to solving critical problems, like a global pandemic.
Despite challenging macro environmental circumstances, 2020 has been a really successful year for Kao Data and I’ve joined at a time of tremendous opportunity. We have rebranded and re-aligned the company, acquired a range of new customers, been recognised for our technical excellence, established new carrier connections like Megaport and Vorboss, and brought more technical capacity online.
Next year looks to be equally exciting as we prepare for the second construction phase of our £230M Harlow campus development and we place Kao Data firmly in pole position as the UK’s world-class home for high performance colocation that supports the cloud, HPC, AI and enterprise. I look forward to this next chapter as we embrace the possibilities of what this mission-critical digital infrastructure can truly offer.
Now about that M25 commute...