Today we continue our Data Center Executive Roundtable, a quarterly feature showcasing the insights of thought leaders on the state of the data center industry, and where it is headed.

In today’s discussion, our panel of experienced data center executives weighs in on enterprise data center demand as the U.S. recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The conversation is moderated by Rich Miller, the founder and editor of Data Center Frontier. Each day this week we will present a Q&A with these executives on one of our key topics. Here’s today’s discussion:

Data Center Frontier: How have enterprise data center needs evolved during the pandemic? What do you expect for 2021?

Kevin Facinelli, Nortek Data Center Cooling: Remote working during the pandemic significantly increased network traffic and all the demands associated with it, such as larger heat loads. These demands are pushing a shift in which businesses running their own enterprise data centers, which may not be their expertise, are looking to other solutions, such as outsourcing these emerging demands to colocations and hyperscale operators.

However, those businesses looking to continue managing their own enterprise systems are looking for more simplification to accommodate growing IT demands. One way to simplify data center management is to commission vendors that have the comprehensive complement of equipment that’s needed for a task, such as cooling. Instead of a collection of different cooling equipment vendors, we see enterprise operators looking for vendors that supply everything from a self-contained cooling plant to the cooling terminal units, such as fan coil walls, rear door heat exchangers, cold plate chip coolers and computer room air handlers (CRAH). In other words, they want a single-source-responsibility type of vendor with a service network to support it.