What if automation could keep your data flowing?

Welcome to this launch article for the Qarbon Tech Q Blog Series, authored by Qarbon CEO, Robert Davidson – a series that we are planning to publish monthly with insights and content from across the DC industry. Along with our Qarbon Connector™ Podcast Series - a survey of the DC industry.
Robert Davidson, Founder & CEO, Qarbon Technologies
June 13, 2023
 min read

Hello Everyone.

Welcome to this launch article for the Qarbon Tech Q Blog Series – a Blog series that we are planning to publish monthly with insights and content from across the DC industry. Along with our Qarbon Connector™ Podcast Series - a survey of the DC industry, we will welcome technology leaders from across the Data Center, Network, Telecoms and Internet world to share their insights and experiences with all of you!

In this, our launch blog, I wanted to really set the scene around Qarbon, why we exist and what it is that we hope to enable for the critical digital infrastructure sector across the globe that increasingly defines how we all live, work and play.

Let me first tell you all a little about myself before we dig deeper into Qarbon itself. My name is Robert Davidson and I am the Founder & CEO of Qarbon Technologies – a Software-as-a-Service technology company, looking to transform the global data center industry.

I started my career in the telecom business; first at Bellcore, the software and services counterpart to Bell Labs and then on to Qwest and CenturyLink. Most recently I was Head of Networks for Asia Pacific at Digital Realty – the world’s largest data center provider by physical size.

For over 20 years I was a customer for data centers all over the world. This has given me a keen appreciation for all the problems with how data centers are managed today.

Before we dive into the detail though, let’s take a step back.

As you know, when most people think about data centers, they think about the left side of the page or the compute, storage, network. The cloud and enterprise tech stack. On the right is the tech stack of the physical data center; power, water, security, air conditioning, temperature, humidity, inventory and the physical connections and operating processes that tie it all together.

This is the tech stack that makes data centers possible.

Each one of these systems produces a stream of data. A stream that is only getting larger day by day as our digital universe expands.

For example, power systems may provide a second-by-second read out of its load or environmental sensors report the temperature and humidity around each rack.

This is the mission-critical data about the data center.

Of course, operators need this information about data centers in order to run them. But customers also need this data to understand and manage their own operations, risks and control costs. This is where the customers' problems begin. You may have even experienced some of these yourself if you are a reader from within the DC industry!

Consider a customer, such as a telco or a cloud service provider, on the right-hand side who works with multiple data center operators, on the left.

Each one of these data centers is running a different tech stack. Power, water, air conditioning, monitoring, security, inventory, so on. There are more than 60 major systems out there, before you consider legacy and proprietary systems.

Each one of these systems outputs data in a different format and each one has a different interface. Some might have a web portal, some might have a local machine interface and a few might have some kind of proprietary API.

All these different formats and all with multiple interfaces.

A customer must employ dedicated resources to get the data they need about the data center out of these systems - download it, convert it, fix any errors and into the customer’s own systems. Very little of this happens in real time, so it’s impossible for customers to manage or automate in real time and they usually only know about problems after the fact, sometimes even months later!

The customer finally gets the data into their own systems. Now, they need to fix issues, change configurations, expand capacity etc.

So, again, dedicated resources do this manually.

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Figure 1. Cloud Infrastructure – From Google Cloud Research

"More than six in 10 (61%) say that #APIs help build better digital experiences and products, and 54% say they accelerate innovation by facilitating collaboration with partners. {Source: 2022 State of APIs and Applications}..." #multicloud #datacenters #qarbon #iPaaS

These are the problems Qarbon Technologies solves and the reason we have brought together a team of industry heavyweights to transform the industry for the better. We are building a category-creating enterprise SaaS business that gives customers seamless access to the data they need about every data center they use. We enable customers to use the data center solutions they want, when they want, where they want.

Qarbon’s first product, LATTICE™ (currently in early adopter testing and scheduled for a full beta release in Q3 2023) is a SaaS based orchestration platform that replaces all the complexity and manual processes with a single, open-API interface between data centers and their customers. Removing the friction, the pain and expense of going from machine to human, to human, to machine. Removing the swivel-chairing and replacing it with a seamless, machine-to-machine experience that puts the data about the data center into the hands of the people who need it to make right business decisions.

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Figure 2. OpenAPI and the Qarbon LATTICE Orchestration Layer

Qarbon Technologies’ first product, Qarbon LATTICE™, will be an industry-first SaaS-based orchestration platform that provides a single, { OpenAPI } interface between #datacenters and their customers...💡

The OpenAPI Specification (OAS) is a framework used by developers to build applications that interact with REST APIs. The specification defines how to communicate with an API, what information can be requested, and what information can be returned. With OpenAPI, developers can ensure their APIs are consistent with the industry standards and can easily integrate their applications with other services. Most notably, it is programming language agnostic. This enables both computers and human users to identify and understand service capabilities without requiring additional documentation, accessing source code, or inspecting network traffic.

Qarbon LATTICE™ will onboard the entire tech stack of each data center and provide customers with a single, homogenous, ubiquitous experience that is the same, regardless of which data center vendors running what systems sit on the left of the page.

Qarbon sits on top of existing data center systems, meaning no CapEx and no changes to existing systems and processes for customers.

Qarbon is the missing middle layer between data centers and customers.

Before, it was as if each data center was speaking a different language. Now, with Qarbon LATTICE, they all speak the customer’s language.

Before, customers had to employ teams of people to download, edit, and reupload data. Now, with Qarbon LATTICE, the data appears—in real time!—in customers’ own systems.

Before, customers had to hire people to make phone calls—or even faxes!—to fix problems or make changes.…Now, with Qarbon LATTICE, customers can press a button in their own systems and make it happen.

Or, even better, customers can now deploy the same tools they’re using to automate the rest of their business to automate their data center operations.

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Figure 3. The Data Center Market is Still an Analog Operation in a Digital World

All other functions/services in the IT stack have multiple platforms to orchestrate services across vendors/platforms/technologies. Data Center Infrastructure is the only layer that has not moved past a highly manual fashion.

With Qarbon, data centers will become the sophisticated, interactive technology platforms that the digital world demands. This is the solution that I had always wanted as a data center customer. THIS is Qarbon Technologies.

One of the other key areas where customers will experience significant benefits from Qarbon will be in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting. Today’s customer must spend considerable time and money preparing important ESG reports for a datacenter. Accessing multiple data sources and compiling information manually. The Qarbon application, with its real-time, standardized power, water, and CO₂ data, will ultimately enable ESG reporting with the click of a button.

The impact that the Qarbon Technologies software solutions could have on the ESG sector globally is substantial. Not only will regulators and other stakeholders get the reporting they need, in a seamless, complete and fully auditable manner, but independent operators will now also be able to qualify for ESG-linked financing, potentially saving millions in costs while further progressing the critical environmental agenda across the global datacenter ecosystem.

We are fortunate to have some of the most important leaders of the data center and telecom industries as senior advisors and members of our Industry Advisory Board. Including - Randy Brouckman, CEO of EdgeConneX; Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global; Pieter Poll, former CTO of CenturyLink; and Tony Rossabi, Co-Founder of OCOLO and former Managing Director at Digital Realty / Telx.

We are all working passionately to solve a critical problem for the global digital infrastructure industry - a problem that is only getting bigger, driven by industry megatrends such as AI, IoT and the hybrid cloud.

As one industry executive put it, Qarbon’s offering is needed by the industry today and will be essential in 3 years time...!”

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today and thank you for subscribing to our channels and mailing lists via the links below. Please do watch this space for a lot more content to come…..!

To learn more about Qarbon Technologies and LATTICE™, please visit www.qarbontech.io or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter. You can also register for our Podcasts, Blogs and Events mailing lists here: www.qarbontech.io/contact-us