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Pushing Back on Data Gravity in Silicon Valley

Russell Turman, Asset Manager, Portfolio Management Group
October 26, 2022

Silicon Valley is the undisputed global epicenter of technology and innovation. Home to the world’s largest technology companies and a vibrant ecosystem of over of thousands of start-ups, the region hosts at least 30 multinational Fortune 1000 corporations and attracts one-third of all venture capital investments in the United States.

Despite pandemic-related restrictions, the region’s technology companies broke records, with the aggregate market cap of Silicon Valley and San Francisco’s public companies reaching $14 trillion.

Silicon Valley earned its name from the establishment of the semiconductor industry in California’s Santa Clara Valley in the 1950s. Today, corporate citizens in the tech, software, and internet space include Apple, Google holding company Alphabet, Adobe, Cisco, Shopify, Intel, Dropbox, Meta (formerly Facebook). Leading global multinationals headquartered in the area include energy giant Chevron and financial services multinationals Visa and Wells Fargo.

While they represent a variety of industries from electronics to technology, energy, and financial services, what unites businesses within the Silicon Valley community and across the Pacific West is their reliance on data-heavy technology. With the increase in data volume, cloud connectivity, and hybrid IT environments associated with digital transformation worldwide, these businesses all face the threat of data gravity and the need to evolve their IT infrastructure to counteract its effects.

The Trouble with Data Gravity

Data gravity describes the phenomenon where data itself is a magnet for the applications, systems, and services required to store and process it. As data accumulates, the data mass becomes unwieldy and expensive to move between enterprise storage systems and processing or analytical services.

Data gravity increases with the volumes of data being created and processed across organizational locations. Logically, the more data and the more locations an enterprise handles, the harder the task becomes.

The International Data Group says data volumes are growing at an average of 63% per month. Digital Realty’s own research reveals that 62% of companies with $1B+ revenues have 50+ locations or colocation sites.

Digital Realty’s Data Gravity Index™ measures the intensity of data gravity across over 50 metropolitan areas and 23 industries globally. By 2024, the index predicts a global compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 139% globally and 147% for California.

The Antidote to Data Gravity

The antidote to data gravity is a data-centric architecture that consolidates enterprise data in a single system and brings applications and processing power to it. Creating a data-centric architecture enables real-time intelligence that optimizes data exchange between customers, partners, and employees across all channels. It also addresses the workflow, security, and cost concerns associated with data gravity.

Data-Centric Architecture with Digital Reality

Digital Realty offers multiple solutions that help modern businesses manage the exploding volume of data using a data-centric approach.

PlatformDIGITAL® delivers robust, connected data communities within multi-tenant data centers. Based on Pervasive Data Center Architecture (PDx™), PlatformDIGITAL provides companies with global coverage, the capacity to scale transactions, and the ability to link seamlessly with cloud and content providers in order to share data between users across channels and geographic locations.

With PlatformDIGITAL, organizations can take control of their ever-changing data and networking demands and address any and all deployment challenges. Specific benefits include:

  • Reduced costs through reduced bandwidth requirements and the elimination of duplicate data
  • Improved data security through the provisioning of secure data exchanges
  • Increased revenue growth through improved data analytics capabilities

In addition, Digital Reality’s ServiceFabric ConnectTM supports businesses that are transitioning from legacy systems to hybrid IT environments and data-centric architecture. Engineered to work with PlatformDIGITAL hubs, ServiceFabric Connect seamlessly interconnects workflow participants, applications, multiple clouds, and ecosystems—all on a single user interface.

Accessing a Data-Centric Architecture in Silicon Valley

The Bay Area is a network-dense interconnection point for the entire West Coast with access to leading cloud providers and local Internet exchanges, ensuring high performance of hybrid and multi-cloud architectures.

Digital Realty’s ecosystem of 12 data centers in Silicon Valley offers premium interconnection and colocation services. These facilities connect to each other to provide seamless connectivity, low latency, and superior redundancy. Small, medium, and enterprise businesses receive access to the same feature-rich applications and connectivity-rich platforms and can rapidly deploy with scalable and flexible design options. This coupled with 300 data centers globally across 6 continents, tethered together with our Service Fabric gives our customers the ability to overcome the challenges that stem from Data Gravity.

For more information on Digital Realty’s data centers and co-location in Silicon Valley, download a copy of the Metro Brief or schedule a tour.

Learn more about PlatformDIGITAL.

Learn more about ServiceFabric.