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Delivering Reliable, High-Bandwidth Solutions to Meet Growing Data Needs: Bluebird Network Discusses The State of The Data Center

Data Center POST interview with James Taylor, Director of Carrier Sales, Bluebird Network

James Taylor is Director of Carrier Sales for Bluebird Network, a Midwest telecommunications company. James is a telecommunications industry veteran and brings 28 years of experience in sales, operations and business development to the Bluebird team. Prior to joining Bluebird, he worked with the Lincoln Telephone Company, Aliant Communications, Alltel and Windstream. Bluebird Network currently leverages more than 6,000 fiber route miles of high-speed broadband and fiber optic connections and 135 Points of Presence. The company also offers an underground data center, Bluebird Underground, located in Springfield.

With the 2019 INCOMPAS Show just around the corner on November 4-6 in Louisville, KY, we sat down to chat with James about Bluebird Network’s recent build outs, what trends are emerging in the industry and beyond.

Data Center POST, Anne Whealdon (DCP-AW) Question: What trends are you seeing in the data center/carrier hotel space?

Bluebird Network, James Taylor (BN-JT) Answer: 100Gbps top-of-rack switches are now ubiquitous in most high-scale data centers, connecting to servers at 10Gbps, 40Gbps and even 100Gbps. This is driven by the high capacity of servers to inexpensively store and process massive amounts of data. This curve of continued exponential growth in compute and storage resources, coupled with dropping per-bit costs across the board, leads to very high capacity network links not only inside the data center, but also to remote locations and often to the internet for ubiquitous access. While modern servers can handle a much higher workload than ever before, the workload demand growth is tracking along in unison.

DCP-AW Q: In your opinion, what is the most important consideration buyers should have when choosing a service provider, and why?

BN-JT A: Customers should look to those companies that have experience in delivering reliable high bandwidth that delivers scalability as business needs grow at a reasonable rate.

DCP-AW Q: What new initiatives should our readers be on the look out for from Bluebird Network?

BN-JT A: Bluebird Network has recently gained 2,500 fiber route miles around Rockford, Peoria, Springfield (IL), and the Quad Cities. We also recently completed densification build outs in Weldon Spring and Wentzville, MO, and have similar densification projects planned over the next few years. Our Bluebird Underground Data Center is also undergoing its second expansion and will be increasing power, customer space and cooling.

DCP-AW Q: What trends are you seeing in the networking space?

BN-JT A: IP and transport networks that connect data centers, cell sites, enterprises and the like are growing exponentially. Where 10 years ago 1Gbps was high capacity and 10Gbps was outlandish, and 5 years ago 10Gbps was the norm and 100Gbps was for big players only, now 100Gbps in the network is table stakes and 10Gbps is a routine access bandwidth. The challenge to meet these increasing bandwidth demands requires new optical technology that is just recently emerging to allow 400Gbps and beyond on a single optical carrier. The router interfaces to support 100Gbps at scale are also just emerging; where just a few years ago 1-2 100Gbps ports could fit on a line card, now upwards of 36 is a reality. High-scale and high-density network elements are a requirement to keep ahead of growth, and strategies must be developed to support this growth on existing platforms where possible, and next generation platforms where necessary.

DCP-AW Q: How does Bluebird Network adapt to the changes in the communications infrastructure industry?

BN-JT A: Staying on top of available and emerging technologies to support our core Ethernet, IP and transport services is key to agile growth and meeting customer requirements at any given time.  Bluebird Network cannot be reactive to trending growth and the new technologies that support current generation services. Instead, we must employ a methodical cycle of forecast-budget-build that allows us to have network resources available in real-time or near real-time for the services we offer. At times this means building network infrastructure and capacity that may seem excessive for the current market. However, when done correctly, that capacity is consumed by customer services within a year’s time frame and the forecast-budget-build cycle continues perpetually.

DCP-AW Q: If companies want to work with you, what are the ways to do so?

BN-JT A: As a provider, we are always talking about how technology can help all industries and organizations move forward and be more productive. Bluebird is always available for discussion at Sales@BluebirdNetwork.com.

DCP-AW Q: Thanks so much for your insights, James. To learn more about Bluebird Network, please visit www.bluebirdnetwork.com.