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New Jersey becoming center of digital world

The topic was “New Jersey at the Center of the Digital Universe” at the New Jersey Technology Council Data Center Summit at Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, and the statistics unveiled at the event bore out that premise.

“New Jersey is the largest data center market in the country, and possibly the world,” Jeff West, global director of data center research for Cushman & Wakefield, told attendees of the event, which focused on everything from data center infrastructure, operations, business intelligence, analytical systems and solutions.

The New Jersey data center market consists of two submarkets, explained Sean Brady, senior director and co-founder of Cushman & Wakefield’s Data Center Advisory Group.

The Northern New Jersey market extends from New York’s southern Rockland County to the north down to Newark.

SEAN BRADY

This market has had more than 1.5 million square feet of new product delivered in the past year and a half alone, said Brady. The Southern New Jersey market extends from Union and northern Middlesex counties to Bridgewater in Somerset County, and west of I-287.

“Those markets combined total approximately 6.5 million square feet of third-party data center space, and that number is still growing,” Brady said.

Main attractions include the tri-state region’s best fiber network and lowest power costs.

Working from north to south, other tri-state data center markets outlined by Brady included:
• Connecticut’s Fairfield and New York’s Westchester counties, which have a combined inventory of approximately 574,000 square feet. “The demand we are seeing in both of these markets combined today is about four to seven megawatts,” said Brady.
• The Manhattan market, made up of high-rise office or multi-story industrial buildings with high ceilings and heavy floor loads. “There are nine major data center buildings totaling 11.5 million square feet, but not all of that is data center space,” he said.
• The Long Island market, extending from Brooklyn to western Suffolk County, which features 18 providers and between six and nine megawatts of tenants.

Back in New Jersey, Fort Monmouth provided an appropriate venue for the event as the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) continues its efforts to redevelop the shuttered U.S. Army base. Cushman & Wakefield is marketing the 1,127-acre property, and data centers are one of the targets.

Christopher Kinum, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield, noted that CommVault, a provider of data management solutions, is constructing new headquarters on the Fort.

Overall “there still seems to be a lot of uncertainty of what the Cloud will evolve into over the next three to five years,” said Peter Skae of Skae Power Solutions, a provider of engineering services.

“The definition changes as uses for the Cloud change, and this could be the biggest transformation we have seen in the data center industry in many years.”

Moderating a panel on “Innovations in Data Center Construction,” Randy Ortiz of Internap Network Services, a provider of IT infrastructure services, addressed the most influential technologies.

“There have not been one or two major technologies, but rather small steps in such areas as modular infrastructure, computational fluid dynamics and DCIM software,” he said.

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