Live Chiller-Side Chat scheduled for Monday

I just wanted to send a quick reminder that if you are interested, I am scheduled to give another Live Chiller Side Chat hosted by Rich Miller, editor of DataCenterKnowledge.  The last time we did this we got a ton of great participation and lively interaction.   Topics ranged between Cloud Computing, infrastructure, data center design, data center containers, construction, IT Operations, scale, processes and more. 

If you have a spare hour on Monday at 12:00pm (US Central Time) I would love to spend some time with you.  You can Register by going to the Digital Realty Trust Website.

I have attached the official information blurb about the event below.

Digital Realty Trust and Data Center Knowledge would like to invite you to participate in this live Q&A session with Mike Manos one of the datacenter industry’s leading visionaries and strategists.

Monday, December 7, 2009

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Central

This unique forum provides you the opportunity to share your thoughts, questions or opinions with one of datacenter industry’s preeminent authorities. The datacenter industry is facing a number of critical issues including the impact of impending regulation and Mike will be responding to your questions on this topic and more. Please plan on attending this special event to learn more about the views and perspectives from your fellow datacenter professionals.

Michael Manos, is the Senior Vice President of Technical Services at Digital Realty Trust. Mr. Manos is a 16-year veteran in the technology industry and most recently was responsible for the global design, construction, and operations of all of Microsoft’s datacenter facilities.

Rich Miller is the founder and editor of Data Center Knowledge, a leading source of daily news and analysis about the data center industry. At DCK, Rich has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities. Rich has been closely tracking the data center sector since 2000 and has been quoted in The NY Times, Wired, The Washington Post, MSNBC, Computerworld, Wall Street Journal, The FinancialTimes, Newsday, The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Seattle Post-Intelligencer and many other leading technology and business publications.

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More Chiller Side Chat Redux….

I have been getting continued feedback on the Chiller Side Chat that we did live on Monday, September 14th.  I wanted to take a quick moment and discuss one of the recurring themes of emails I have been receiving on the topic of data center site selection and the decisions that result at the intersection of data center technology, process and cost.    One of the key things that we technical people often forget is that the data center is first and foremost a business decision.  The business (whatever kind of business it is) has a requirement to improve efficiency through automation, store information, or whatever it is that represents the core function of that business.  The data center is at the heart of those technology decisions and the ultimate place where those solutions will reside.  

As the primary technical folks in an organization whether you represent IT or Facilities,  we can find ourselves in the position of getting deeply involved with the technical aspects of the facility – the design, the construction or retro-fit, the amount of power or cooling required, the amount of redundancy we need and the like.  Those in upper management however view this substantially in a different way.    Its all about business.  As I have gotten a slew of these mails recently I decided to try and post my own response.  As I thought about how I would go about this, I would keep going back to Chris Crosby’s discussion at Data Center Dynamics about two years ago.   As you know I was at Microsoft, at the time and felt that he did an excellent job of outlining the way the business person views data center decisions.    So I went digging around and found this video of Chris talking about it.  Hopefully this helps!  If not let me know and I am happy to discuss further or more specifically.

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Miss the “Live” Chiller Side Chat? Hear it here!

The folks who were recording the “Live” Chiller Side Chat have sent me a link to the recording.    If you were not able to make the event live, but are still interested in hearing how it went feel free to have a listen at the following link:

 

LIVE CHILLER SIDE CHAT

 

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Live Chiller Side Chat Redux

I wanted to take a moment to thank Rich Miller of Data Center Knowledge, and all of those folks that called in and asked and submitted questions today in the Live Chiller Side Chat.   It was incredible fun for me to get a chance to answer questions directly from everyone.   My only regret is that we did not have enough time!

When you have a couple of hundred people logged in, its unrealistic and all but impossible to answer all of the questions.  However, I think Rich did a great job bouncing around to clue into key themes that he saw emerging from the questions.    One thing is for sure is that we will try to do another one of those given the amount of unanswered questions.  I have already been receiving some great ideas on how to possibly structure these moving forward.  Hopefully everyone got some value or insight out of the exercise.  As I warned before the meeting, you may not get the right answer, but you will definitely get my answer.  

One of the topics that we touched on briefly during the call, and went a bit under-discussed was regulation associated with data centers or more correctly, regulation and legislation that will affect our industry.    For those of you who are interested I recently completed an executive primer video on the subject of data center regulation.  The link can be found here:

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Data Center Regulation Video.

Thanks again for spending your valuable time with me today and hope we can do it again!

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Live Chiller Side Chat

I am extremely excited to be participating in a live (webcast) Chiller-Side Chat hosted by none other than Rich Miller of Data Center Knowledge.   The event is scheduled for Monday, September 14th from noon to 1pm Central Standard Time.  You can register for the online event at this link.

I think perhaps the most interesting aspect of this to me is that this will be a live event and focused on answering questions that come in from the audience.   As you know I usually use my ‘Chiller Side Chat’ posts to discuss some topic or other that interests or frustrates me.    Sometimes, even others think they may be interesting or relevant too.    I am planning on meeting up with Rich and doing the webcast from Las Vegas, where I am speaking at the Tier One Hosting Transformation Summit.

I am incredibly excited about this event and hope that if you have time you will join us.  While I will endeavor to give you the right answers – one thing you can be sure of is that you will get MY answers.  🙂

See you then!

 

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Chiller-Side Chats: When Worlds Collide

To most outsiders the datacenter industry may seem to be quite parochial.   A niche blend at the intersection of building and IT technologies.   Even to many senior business managers both of these areas in and of themselves are not necessarily considered business critical. As such, little if any time is spent concentrating on the issues this space.  That is of course until it becomes business critical.  At that time many business managers struggle to navigate this complex world.  That complexity can drive frustration, confusion, and is prone to misinformation ultimately leading to bad business decisions.  In many cases it might even be the first time they speak to those in the organization responsible for these assets.

Conversely, those who have had responsibility for the care and maintenance of the data center facilities themselves are now thrust into the spotlight and into a foreign world of business-speak.  Usually these professionals report in through Corporate Real Estate services, where skill sets tend to lean towards more generic building issues.  Real Estate groups tend to minimize the complexity of these facilities and apply what they know rather than what is truly happening. It leads to an interesting time for data center professionals who tend to be more engineering focused.  Normally quite content to talk at an engineering and operations level, they now find themselves thrust into a world of business jargon, return on investments, capital planning, and business impacts.  Out of their comfort zone and frustrated by the inability for management to grasp the engineering aspects of the issues at hand, cynicism increases and tempers can flare.

To make it even more confusing the IT organization, normally the largest user of those facilities and the primary advocate and buffer between business management and the data center organization rarely understands the issues within the facility itself or the challenges the advancements in server and IT technology may actually have in the environment in which their services run.  Even when they believe themselves to be assisting their data center comrades they may unintentionally be causing more harm than good.  Data Center professionals (at the facility level) rarely understand server and application technologies which are increasingly placing strain on their facilities.

Three worlds have collided and its never pretty.   In my experience and in conversations with many customers in all three categories its a time that fosters frustration, mistrust, and stress.  Its also a wonderful time for less than scrupulous vendors, contractors, and consultants to take advantage of the situation and cause poor decisions to be made.   I am not saying that all consultants are bad or ill intentioned, in fact, there are some phenomenal organizations and products out there.   Its just that you need to be aware of the biases and “religious” debates in this space.   If your a business manager think about the debates around out-sourcing versus in-sourcing, off-shoring versus near-shoring.  If you are an IT professional think back to the times of Ethernet versus Token Ring, Oracle versus SAP, Windows versus Netware or Windows versus Linux.  While it may it may seem strange to people in IT and business management, the data center world suffers from many of the same things.  Concepts like AC versus DC, batteries versus rotary-based UPS systems raised floor versus on-slab.  Different firms have different biases and religious affiliations.

With this post, I am kicking off a series of posts in which my sincerest wish is to help all three groups during these stressful times.   Having spent significant time in all three camps I will offer up my own personal take on the issues at hand.  I am calling them Chiller-Side Chats.   From time to time I will post my thoughts on various issues aimed at bridging the communication between these organizations.  I strongly encourage anyone reading these posts to drop comments or offer up suggestions so we can have a lively discussion on these topics.

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