Interxion’s Lex Coors: ‘AI will become the DNA of systems’

29 Aug 2019

Lex Coors. Image: Interxion

While Interxion’s Lex Coors hasn’t seen much genuine AI transforming businesses just yet, he does see a future where this technology will change data centres and more.

Over the past 25 years of his career, Lex Coors, chief data centre technology and engineering officer at Interxion, has built strong credentials in the design of versatile, cost-effective and energy-efficient data centre infrastructure.

During his time with Interxion, he has pioneered several new approaches to data centre design and management, including the improvement of power ratio efficiency between server load and transformer load, and the industry’s first ever modular approach to data centre architecture.

‘You name the area and AI will enhance it’

Coors also works as a stakeholder for the European Commission DG Joint Research Committee on Sustainability and the Data Centre Code of Conduct metrics group, and he was a founding member of the EMEA Uptime Institute.

He has received awards for his outstanding contribution to the data centre sector and, below, he speaks to about how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing this landscape.

How is Interxion using AI?

Artificial intelligence is a buzzword at the moment but, in reality, its existence is sparse. We are talking about the difference between soldiers (machine learning to execute) and officers (AI to develop strategy). AI will run and develop machine learning over time, which, essentially, is the next layer on top of machine learning.

We are in an era of machine learning; close to AI but we still have to explore the aspects of emotion, intuition and feelings, which will turn machine learning into AI. Once we reach this point, we have to let go of what we are able to into the advanced capabilities beyond human knowledge.

In the above sense, Interxion is not yet using AI. But the combined power of cloud, big data, internet of things (IoT) and analytics is machine learning which, through our SE EcoStruxure platform, is helping us to better develop and transform our data centres.

We are also seeing dynamic or condition-based maintenance helping to drive down maintenance costs, while also improving the uptime of our systems as a result of the power of the algorithms combined with big data.

How is AI changing your business?

AI in the future will change our business sector through continuous optimisation. From capacity planning of land and power, KPIs, maintenance metrics and energy-efficiency programs to staffing and organisational structure – you name the area and AI will enhance it.

What are the challenges and opportunities you foresee in adopting AI in your business?

With all new developments comes learning. As a business, we will need to monitor and review each and every step of the process of adopting AI. At its core, AI will become the DNA of a system, so you will need to continuously monitor the performance and development of AI to lessen the potential errors.

What will AI lead to next?

Within the data centre industry, we expect AI to further develop and have an impact on machine learning, software development, further automation and development of highly complex neural networks.

In general, the AI that we are trying to develop will eventually enhance the human brain to humanoid 2.0.

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