datacenterHawk Logo
Turning Challenges into Opportunities: A Conversation with Applied Digital's Wes Cummins

By Rhett Gill · 3/19/2024

In our latest HawkTalk, David Liggitt, Founder & CEO of datacenterHawk, engages in an intriguing conversation with Wes Cummins, CEO of Applied Digital, a company making impressive strides in the data center industry. Their dialogue touched upon the company's journey, its intelligent site selection process for power efficiency, and its continued focus on meeting the burgeoning market demand.

The Journey of Applied Digital

Applied Digital has made a significant mark in the data center world under the leadership of Wes Cummins. The company, which initially began its journey as a Bitcoin mining venture, has profoundly evolved. Amidst policy crackdowns on cryptocurrency mining, they swiftly pivoted to construct data centers facilitating Bitcoin mining and high-performance computing. Within a short time, they became the largest data center provider for Bitcoin mining and extended their services to the high-performance computing market.

Positioning for Power: Site Selection and Power Advantage

The company's success is not just attributable to their adaptability but also their fine-tuned site selection strategy. They set up their operations close to power sources in locations with high wind power generation or stranded power. A prime example of this is their site in North Dakota that houses 180 megawatts of Bitcoin facilities. With multiple fiber providers and a beneficial climate for dissipating heat from high-density operations, their choice of location has enhanced their efficiency and progress.

Exploring the Demand and Competitive Landscape

As we dwell further into the age of data, data center demands are skyrocketing, especially in the high-performance computing sector. Applied Digital's capability to offer high-powered, large-scale GPU deployments has drawn several customers. Despite the growing competition, with utilities and power providers being swamped with requests, Applied Digital manages to hold its own. Their robust rapport with power providers and adeptness in equipment procurement have provided them with a competitive advantage.

Striding Towards the Future: Power Solutions and Challenges

As we look ahead, Applied Digital sees a future that will witness both short-term and long-term solutions to address the growing power needs of the data center industry. While the company will continue to exploit locations with abundant power availability in the short term, they foresee the necessity for novel baseload power generation methods in the long term. The exploration of possible solutions like nuclear power points towards an inevitable expansion of the data center market into non-traditional locations with considerable power availability.

In conclusion, Applied Digital has undoubtedly carved a unique niche in the data center landscape with its innovative solutions for Bitcoin mining and high-performance computing. Their strategic site selection, power advantage, and ability to meet market demand have made them a force to reckon with. As the industry continues to evolve, the expertise and focus of Applied Digital on power-efficiency will play a pivotal role in addressing the burgeoning power needs of data-related applications.

Focused on data center real estate?

Get instant access to market analytics. Guess less. Make better decisions.