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Toronto 5000x1800
— Blog

How Toronto Metro Digital Businesses Can Overcome the Effects of Data Gravity

John Thompson, Asset Manager
November 9, 2021

Toronto has ascended to a prominent economic and cultural center due to its surging tech sector, various professional sports franchises, thriving performing arts community, and multinational food scene.

Since 2013, Toronto added more tech jobs than any other location in North America—including Silicon Valley. This all has made Toronto the third largest city in North America with 2.8 million residents. With one-quarter of the country’s population within a 160 km (100 mile) radius and 60% of the U.S.’s population with a 90-minute flight, Toronto is a crucial technology hub for both Canada and North America.

Digital Businesses and Industries Rapidly Expand

In response, some of the tech industries biggest names have opened offices in Toronto and/or Ontario’s tech hub in Waterloo: Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. One of the reasons is the government changes in foreign worker visas, which enables Toronto and the surrounding region to compete for top tech talent from elsewhere. This builds on the heritage of long-time Toronto tech residents such as IBM.

Some of the industry sectors experiencing the fastest growth include clean tech, healthcare, biotech, advanced manufacturing, agri-food, and interactive digital media. These industry sectors build on already robust sectors in banking, financial services, and insurance. Toronto is a critical communications network, data center, content provider, and cloud services hub.

Beyond the number of industry sectors seeing rapid growth in digital jobs and services, other factors such as remote work, online financial trading, streaming entertainment, and artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics are contributing to the spike. Research by EY found that 78% of Canadian companies outperformed during recent global events with respect to their digital transformation efforts. And the push towards digitization is on the rise, with 68% of businesses indicating they plan to increase strategic focus and investment in advancing their digital scale.

Digital Connections and Data Explode

As a result of these digital, economic, and demographic changes, the amount of data generated, stored, exchanged, and analyzed in the Toronto region is dramatic. For example, the latest North American Data Center Trends Report found that Toronto experienced the second-most amount of data center leasing activity in North America in 2020 with 38.1 megawatts of data center capacity leased. The city and region tout a huge presence of data centers and cloud service providers. Here, Canada ranks fifth globally for data center density, with Toronto experiencing unprecedented levels of growth due to large amounts of capital ready to be deployed.

This acceleration in digital infrastructure creates a heightened sense of “data” urgency. Examples of this global data growth are corroborated by various sources that include:

  • IDG revealed that data volumes are growing at a monthly rate of 63%
  • The World Economic Forum estimates that over 463 exabytes of data will be created every day by 2025
  • 80% of data worldwide will reside in enterprises according to IDC

Data Gravity Megatrend Accelerates the Need for Digital Transformation

The explosion in data contributes to a current megatrend known as Data Gravity. Specifically, it describes the process where data accumulation attracts additional services and applications to the data—in a manner similar to how gravity attracts objects around a planet. Growth in data makes it more and more difficult to move data between data centers, cloud services, networks, and content providers.

Data Gravity is present in nearly every major metro worldwide, and it is becoming a growing challenge as more data is created, stored, exchanged, and analyzed. Traditional data architectures cannot keep up with the number of applications, interactions, and systems that proliferate. However, new digital ecosystems require these data architectures to evolve to bring users, applications, and networks to the data while doing so in a consistent and compliant manner.

Data-centric Architecture Based on PlatformDIGITAL®

Digital Realty developed the Data Gravity Index DGx™ to measure the intensity of Data Gravity based on data creation, aggregation, and private exchange of data. The latest Data Gravity Index pegs a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 136% through 2024 for the Toronto metro.

A data-centric architecture must enable real-time intelligence that optimizes data exchange between customers, business partners, and employees across all channels. It also must address workflow, security, and cost issues created by Data Gravity.

This is what customers get with PlatformDIGITAL®, a Pervasive Data Center Architecture (PDx™) that exists within multi-tenant data centers. To help businesses in the Toronto metro area overcome the effects of Data Gravity, Digital Realty expanded its presence in the area by recently opening a new highly-connected downtown data center—its third in the metro area. Located in downtown Toronto, the 800kw and 6,900 square foot data center is fully interconnected with redundant dark fiber paths to the company’s data center in Vaughn and is an ideal meeting point for deploying network hubs leveraging PlatformDIGITAL®.

This new data center augments Digital Realty’s already strong colocation and data center services presence in Toronto. These three locations include compliance and sustainability certifications such as SOC 2 and SOC 3, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and LEED Silver, among others. Combined, our Toronto data centers have up to 62 MW of critical load capacity and 1.25 PUE annualized at full capability.

Benefits of PlatformDIGITAL for Toronto Metro

Customers of Digital Realty may achieve myriad positive business outcomes:

  • Reduce risks through secure data exchange
  • Lower costs with a reduction in bandwidth and duplicated infrastructure
  • Remove barriers of Data Gravity and unlock new business capabilities
  • Overcome everchanging global enterprise demands of data, control, and networking

The PlatformDIGITAL ecosystem in the Toronto metro area includes access to:

  • A 150+ network, cloud, IT, financial, and content partners, as well as thousands of customers
  • Internet connectivity, including dedicated internet access and exchange
  • A purpose-built data center and colocation that enables customers to rapidly deploy with scale and flexible design options

The robust, neutral connectivity of PlatformDIGITAL enables enterprises to build secure and resilient digital ecosystems and connectivity gateways while accelerating digital transformation initiatives that lower capital and operational costs.

For more information on Digital Realty’s Toronto metro connective campus, download a copy of our Metro Brief. You can also email us for more information.

Learn more about Data Gravity and PlatformDIGITAL by watching a short video overview.

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