A sure standout for Day 2 of Capacity’s Metro Connect USA conference was the 10 am panel, “The Evolving Relationship Between Data Centers and Carriers,” moderated by Aaron Blazar, Vice President of Atlantic ACM. Featuring an array of industry C-level executives and experts, such as Todd Coleman, COO of Cologix; Tony Wanger, CEO of IO Data Centers; Tad Deriso, CEO of Mid Atlantic Broadband Cooperative; Akio Sugeno, VP of TELEHOUSE America; and Joe Weinman, SVP of Cloud Services & Strategy for Telx, the panel served as an engaging forum focusing on the importance of modern-day data centers and global carriers of today.

Here are some key take-aways from the panel:

*Overall Theme: Don’t wait to colocate!

*”Getting into the data center ‘early’ is key to getting the customers – you can’t do it after the fact. Getting in the space early is very important – trying to colocate with customers / carriers after they are already collocated essentially means NOT getting the business – perhaps not even realizing the business exists.”

*”The early bird gets the worm – however, customers need choices – we’re looking for fiber density, sometimes over power.”

*”Carriers come to us for white label services. They come to us for choice.”

*”A carrier neutral interconnection point is crucial for data center growth. It provides opportunities.”

*Observes Akio Sugeno of TELEHOUSE, “Our parent, KDDI, is one our our biggest assets and ultimately gives us insight into what the carrier needs. It also allows us to better negotiate.”

And, what it comes down to:  *”Our customers want connectivity!” points out Akio.

Other important factors for a data center facility?

*Carrier Rich
*Carrier Neutrality
*Fiber Density
*Cross Connecting

As the industry beats the “cloud” drum (to death in some cases), data center operators know that the cloud revolution starts with data center evolution. It’s more than space and power, it’s carrier access, fiber density and old school perks (free cross connects for instance) that are fueling data center evolution today.