Digital Realty acquires DuPont Fabros Technology
The latest merger of Digital Realty and DuPont Fabros Technology has impacted the data centre space, with companies utilising data center and cloud technologies to further their global reach
Data centers have taken off significantly in the last five years, in alignment with the growing demand for cloud services. With heightened security and innovative, custom-built interconnection solutions on offer through a variety of services, such as colocation facilities, cages and suites, the data center industry has grown exponentially, with companies growing their global presence by utilising data centres to secure essential information.
The $1.9 billion acquisition of Telx in 2015, expansion in Europe, and now carrier neutral DuPont Fabros Technology in an all-stock $7.6 billion deal (including $1.6 billion of assumed debt) will therefore increase Digital Realty’s presence within the hyperscale data centre industry, with the aim to become an influencer in key markets, such as Northern Virginia, Chicago and Silicon Valley, extending their reach to tech giants, such as Facebook and Google.
Targeting key growth sectors, DuPont Fabros incorporates six data center development projects in Ashburn, Chicago, Santa Clara and Toronto, in addition to a significant amount of land, all of which will further Digital Realty’s ongoing expansion plans and increased portfolio. The company currently has over 100 data centers across the US, of which their colocation and interconnectivity business is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, alongside 30 data centers in Europe and 7 within Asia Pacific.
William Stein, Digital Realty's Chief Executive Officer informed Data Center Frontier that “the ability to offer more than one campus environment within a single metro area will enable the combined company to compete for multiple availability zones within the same metropolitan area, particularly from cloud service providers who may have certain distance requirements between deployments in a given metro area. The combined organization really will be the home to the cloud.”
Under the terms of the agreement, DuPont Fabros shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.545 Digital Realty shares per DuPont Fabros share, for a transaction valued at approximately $7.6 billion in enterprise value.
"This strategic and complementary transaction significantly enhances Digital Realty's ability to support the growth of hyper-scale users in the top U.S. data center metro areas, while providing meaningful customer and geographic diversification for DuPont Fabros," said Stein.
"We are excited to deliver this compelling transaction to our shareholders and execute upon two of the strategic objectives embodied in our corporate vision – diversifying our customer base and expanding our geographic presence," said Christopher P. Eldredge, DuPont Fabros' President & Chief Executive Officer.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”