International Data Center Day, designed to create awareness of the rapidly growing global data center industry, is a day to inspire the world’s next generation to become a part of the connected digital world. Digital Fortress, a multitenant colocation and wholesale data center provider, is celebrating International Data Center Day by sharing Jhoan Checo’s story on how he began his data center career.

Jhoan Checo, chief sales officer at Digital Fortress, served in the U.S. military for 10 years before beginning his impressive career in the data center industry. Beginning as a chef in the Navy, Checo worked his way into IT. From there, he was given the opportunity to work in the Navy data center, taking on the responsibilities of networks and systems operations while overlooking the data center teams. After the military, Checo began to build his network around Wall Street and was introduced to the data center industry during the high-trading explosion in the early 2000s. Since then, he’s earned recognition as an award-winning data center sales leader. Over the course of his career, he has led his teams to achieve greatness. Checo attributes his drive, leadership, and team management skills to his time serving the country in the U.S. Navy. 

Checo expresses the strong connection between military and data center environments. On the Navy ships, there are generators and cooling systems that provide power and cooling. Along with this aspect, there is security and compliance. The data center industry has seen great success with transitioning mechanical engineering veterans into data center roles. Veterans require less training than most because they are already equipped with the experience and technical skills that data centers require. Checo also emphasizes that you do not need to be an engineer to work in the data center industry. The younger generation of talent should be aware of the many career paths the data center industry has to offer, including operations, sales, marketing, public relations, and more. The data center industry is a great opportunity for employment with various paths to take. 

“International Data Center Day is a day to celebrate the data center industry and raise awareness of the vast variety of careers that this industry has to offer,” Checo said. “I encourage the younger generation and veterans to explore the many great opportunities — technical or not — and acknowledge that they are the future of this industry.”