Data Center World 2023 Explored the Future of the Data Center Industry with Data Center Facilities and IT Infrastructure Professionals

AFCOM State of the Data Center Report Unveiled; Data Center World 2024 Scheduled for April 15 – 18, 2024 in Washington, D.C.

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Data Center World, the leading global conference for data center facilities and IT professionals, brought 2,000 attendees and over 200 exhibitors to the Austin Convention Center to explore the future of the industry. The event offered keynote presentations, panel discussions and case studies focused on emerging IT & data center technologies; design, build, operate, control; colocation, hyperscale, and cloud innovation; and sustainability & mission critical facilities management. Data Center World is AFCOM’s annual gathering of IT and data center professionals.

“This past week, we gathered data center professionals, technology business leaders and innovators to discuss the future of our fast-growing industry and revealed results from our just released data center research report. With expert insights and strategies on the technologies and concepts needed to know to plan, manage, and optimize data centers as well as networking opportunities, it was an outstanding week,” said Tara Gibb, Senior Director, Data Center World.

AFCOM State of the Data Center Report
The AFCOM State of the Data Center report was unveiled. Key highlights of the report include:

  • The data center industry is growing. The amount of data generated is increasing, which increases the need for data storage. Forty-three percent of respondents have a total on-premise storage capacity of 1PB or more and 43% report a total off-premise data storage capacity of 1PB or more.
  • To support the growing need for data, data center professionals are turning to all-flash storage to properly manage data requirements. Thirty-eight percent of respondents say they leverage all-flash storage for high performance and 31% use it for general purposes.
  • Digital twins, data modeling and VR are becoming increasingly attractive to data center professionals. Thirty percent of respondents indicated they have deployed or intend to deploy an AR/VR or smart system integration.
  • For the first time, security is at the top of data center leaders’ concerns. Physical and/or logical security topped this list, with 53% of respondents saying they’ve already implemented some kind of security plan.
  • Rack density continues to evolve. Last year, the typical respondent reported an estimated mean rack density of 7kW in their primary data centers. In 2023, that number jumped to 8.5kW per rack. Sixty percent of respondents say their rack density will continue to change and become more significant.
  • Cooling is still a major concern. Forty-six percent of respondents say their current cooling solutions meet all their requirements, while 35% of respondents indicated that they’re persistently running out of cooling capacity.
  • Data center professionals have embraced renewable energy. Only 14% of respondents said they don’t have a renewable energy plan, while the remaining 86% are either actively deploying or planning to deploy renewable energy. Respondents indicated they believe solar (55%), wind (36%), and hydro (27%) are the most favored sources of renewable energy.

To receive a copy of the report, click here.

Data Center World event highlights:

Omdia Analyst Summit
Data Center World hosted a one-day Omdia Analyst Summit presented by global technology research firm, Omdia. The Summit featured a data-driven, expert-led discussion on the theme “Sustainability in Practice.” Omdia analysts presented the latest research on the relationship between efficiency and sustainability, powering data centers with microgrids and Energy-as-a-Service and improving data center operations with AI.

Data Center World Innovation Challenge
The Data Center World Innovation Challenge contest pitted data center technology startups against each other. The panel of judges included Moises Levy, Senior Principal Analyst, Omdia; Mark Litke, Chief Commercial Officer with Cumulus Digital Systems; and Don Anderson, Senior Managing Director, The Blackstone Group.

Data Center Innovation Challenge Winners include:

  • Most Disruptive Technology: ECL
  • Best Chance for Market Success: ECL
  • Most Influential Founding Team: Ventana Micro Systems
  • Best Ability to Gain Additional Capital:

The complete list of finalists includes:

  • Ventana Micro Systems Inc.
  • Net-Zero Edge (NZE)
  • DHK Storage, Inc., dba ChiliRack
  • ECL – Edge Cloud Link

Data Center World Awards Programs
Data Center World offered two awards programs. The Data Center World Lifetime Achievement award honors a leader that has made significant contributions to the industry – demonstrating mentorship, dedication to sustainability, and promotion of innovative technologies and processes in the data center. Carrie Goetz, Principal/CTO, StrategITcom received the inaugural award. The Data Center Manager of the Year celebrates exceptional leaders in the data center industry and was awarded to Paul Abston, Data Center Manager - Infrastructure Operations Group Leader, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

This year’s keynotes provided a comprehensive overview of the current trends impacting the data center industry including: Dr. Burcin Kaplanoglu, Vice President of Innovation, Oracle Industry Labs; Shweta Saraf, Head of Network Modernization at Equinix; Rebecca Weekly, Vice President, Hardware Systems Engineering at Cloudflare; Garima Kochhar, Senior Distinguished Engineer working on High-Performance Computing and AI systems at Dell Technologies; Kian Gohar, Founder at Geolab; and Bill Kleyman, Program Chair for Data Center World and Data Center Knowledge contributing editor.

Data Center BUILD
The two-day Data Center BUILD Summit brought together operators, decision-makers, experts and implementers to help drive smart decisions for data center growth. Chris Crosby, CEO, Compass Datacenters, delivered the keynote address.

Expo Hall
Data Center World’s Expo Hall featured the industry’s leading solution providers showcasing their latest innovations to attendees, which empowered data center leaders to pick and choose from the technologies that would best improve their data center strategy. The Expo Hall featured a Data Center Live Stage that hosted Solution Spotlight Sessions, the Innovation Challenge, and Data Center World’s inaugural Rack and Stack Challenge, which brought together multiple teams of two to see who could create the tidiest rack space in the shortest amount of time.

PowerUp Program
More than 40 students attended Data Center World’s second annual PowerUp Program, which offered small group sessions with data center professionals, valuable advice for professional development from industry experts, a “Data Center 101” class, and access to the expo floor, all designed to embolden students and young professionals to consider a career in the data center industry.

Data Center World will take place April 15 – 18, 2024, in Washington, DC. For additional information on exhibition or sponsorship opportunities, contact Susan Gillespie at

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About Data Center World
Data Center World is the global conference for data center facilities and IT professionals. It offers premier education, abundant networking, and the broadest access to best-in-class vendors. Designed to help data center and IT infrastructure professionals with challenging issues, Data Center World presents top quality knowledge without bias towards a specific vendor product or service. CIO Dive named Data Center World one of the top technology conferences to attend in 2023. Data Center World 2024 will be held April 15 – 18, in Washington, DC. Data Center World is produced by Informa Tech.

AFCOM advances data center and IT professionals by delivering comprehensive and vendor-neutral education and peer-to-peer networking to its members around the world. Through forward-looking research, AFCOM supports thousands of IT, operations, facilities, builders/designers and vendors working in the data center and IT infrastructure industry. In serving the data center industry for more than 40 years, AFCOM has earned recognition as the market leader in educating, connecting and guiding the data center community.

About Informa Tech
Informa Tech is a market leading provider of integrated research, media, training and events to the global Technology community. We're an international business of more than 600 colleagues, operating in more than 20 markets. Our aim is to inspire the Technology community to design, build and run a better digital world through research, media, training and event brands that inform, educate and connect. Over 7,000 professionals subscribe to our research, with 225,000 delegates attending our events and over 18,000 students participating in our training programs each year, and nearly 4 million people visiting our digital communities each month. Learn more about Informa Tech.


Media Contact
Meryl Franzman
Data Center World


Media Contact
Meryl Franzman
Data Center World