Three days in Cannes for Datacloud Global Congress 2024

Three days in Cannes for Datacloud Global Congress 2024

Yondr joined 3,200 senior decision makers from across the data center industry earlier this month for the Datacloud Global Congress event in Cannes. It’s an event that we’ve attended every year since 2019, and 2024’s conference was as busy and engaging as ever, with presentations and panel discussions from a host of industry experts, including our own CFO, Chester Reid.  

Our time began with a scenic hike on a historic island just off the coast of Cannes. We took an early boat to Île Sainte-Marguerite, where the legendary ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was imprisoned in the 17th century. After a leisurely trek through shady pine and eucalyptus forests, we hopped on a boat back to the mainland to enjoy a light breakfast.

 

The AI Revolution
The opening keynote speech from Microsoft’s Noelle Walsh and Nancy Novak of Compass Data Centers on the first full day of the conference discussed ‘The AI Revolution’, exploring what the future holds and how AI is revolutionising the world.   

The session mapped our global journey towards a new era of digital infrastructure; from the electrification of streetlights through to our current energy-intensive infrastructure and beyond. Looking ahead to the ways in which AI will revolutionise the next wave of digital infrastructure, the presentation highlighted the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and engaging with communities so that the positive benefits of our developing infrastructure are clearly articulated and understood. 

The speech moved on to outline the scale of what the future holds, with enormous AI demand and exponential growth. It was interesting to reflect on the fact that Chat GPT launched in 2020 and grew to 100million users in just three days! 

The need for sustainable green power to fuel the AI revolution was reiterated along with the need to explore a variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, and wind. For Yondr, this call to action on energy aligned to growth in AI resonated with our 2030 net zero emissions target and recent ESG Report.

The cooling conumdrum
One of the sessions that particularly caught the attention of the Yondr team was entitled ‘Building the most efficient data center: the cooling conundrum’. The session focused on liquid cooling, emphasising how it needs to match client requirements but has the potential to provide heat reuse for fish farming or indoor agriculture, or to build CSR into data center projects by contributing to community heating infrastructure.

Financial focus
Alongside continuing topics covering design, operational and energy and sustainability trends and best practice, the following day’s programme brought much more of a financial and commercial focus to the fore. 

An M&A overview presentation was followed by a panel discussion entitled ‘how are we managing M&A headwinds?’ featuring Yondr’s CFO, Chester Reid, and debate on how the industry is financing data centers.

Collaboration towards common goals
Events such as the Datacloud Global Congress are important because they enable us to connect with industry peers and learn from knowledge and best practice that aligns with and shapes our own thinking. We operate in a dynamic and essential industry, as we embrace the opportunities and tackle the challenges that come with that environment, collaboration is critical to success. 

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