Virginia Plays Key Role In Data Center Market

Supporting global internet traffic is a critical role for Virginia, identifying the state as a key player in the world’s IT economy.  Loudoun County’s “Data Center Alley”  is the host for more than 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic and over the past five years Prince William County has exploded on the scene as well in data center market growth with its’ “Data Center Opportunity Zone.”   Data Centers for major companies such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Dupont Fabros call Virginia home.  Even better news is the impact this growth has had on Virginia’s employment with more than 650 hosting, data processing and related organizations employing approximately 13,900 people and 6,600 new jobs since 2006.  Virginia’s economic development has skyrocketed with investments of over $11.8 billion announced in the data center industry and Prince William County alone has seen $2.4 billion in capital investment and 370 new jobs in the county.

The largest concentration of data centers, ten million square feet is found in Loudoun County with even more being developed, makes Northern Virginia in high demand for both space and tech workers.  Lower costs of doing business in Loudoun, additional incentives of sales and tax exemptions, prominent intersections for communication networks, and proximity to Washington, D.C are key components for it being the most active data center market in the country.

Prince William County Board of Supervisors committed 10,000 acres of land to data center development in May of 2016  in order to capture the positive growth and economic development the data center market has to offer.  New zoning district permits promote fast-track approvals for the development and operation of data centers in all commercial, industrial and office zoning districts.  Along with the data center community, the Planning Office developed strategies to identify areas of opportunities where readily available infrastructure was already present to support future data center development is now referred to as the “Data Center Opportunity Zone District.”



Preparation for the Internet of Things

Sources say that connected things will reach 20.8 billion by the year 2020.  Is your organization prepared for an Internet of Things (IoT) smart project?  There are many considerations of how the influx of smart devices, as it reaches the billions, will transform your departments and networks in the coming years.  Understanding the overall strategy and vision behind your IoT smart project goal and subsequent deployment is the first step for the IT leadership team.  However, there are several key steps involved along the IoT journey, all of which are important before embarking down the path.

State and local governments especially have the daunting task of understanding IoT effects on areas such as traffic and street lights, electric grids and HVAC systems that private business might not have to consider.  But, with change happening so fast in all different directions all at the same time in many organizations, there can be a systematic approach towards the key phases of your transformation.

After IT leadership has fully developed the strategic IoT long-term plan and designers have thought through having all bases covered over the next 5 years, the next critical step is keeping up with Cybersecurity.  The sheer number of increased IoT devices alone and their inferior security offerings mean improved security policies and procedures are crucial in order to protect enterprise infrastructure.  The integration of the security architecture across the entire networked ecosystem is an important factor as the new world of IoT takes shape.  For additional information on steps to prepare for an IoT project, read full article here.




Edge Computing Popular in Healthcare

If ever there was a need for Edge computing where a substantial amount of internet of things (IoT) devices consuming large amounts of data is growing, it would be in the healthcare industry. As more and more medical devices are being introduced into a healthcare organization’s IT ecosystem, Edge computing is becoming more popular as the demand increases for quicker ways that clinicians receive data  in order to better care for their patients. Medical devices and the IoT producing tremendous amounts of data at the edge of the network from the patient are going to greatly benefit if the data is processed at the source versus cloud computing which is not going to be as efficient in the handling this data.

At some point most all electrical devices will be part of the IoT.   However, Hospitals in particular have large amounts of IoT devices as most all medical devices are networked and put a strain on the healthcare organization’s IT infrastructure. To ensure rapid response times from the patient to clinician, edge computing will offer data analytic solutions to better care for the patient and support the data exchange at the edge. In the future, the driving force behind the increase in Edge computing is the sheer volume increase of the data being produced from the IoT being too large for cloud computing and its’ bandwidth restrictions. IoT devices are expected to reach into the billions in the future. Read full article here.