Richard Sawyer of EYP Mission Critical Facilities and a board member on AFCOM’s Data Center Institute board, said that having to deal with a flat data center budget is like the “Sisyphus complex.” Sisyphus, he explained, is a Greek mythology figure who was punished by the gods by having to eternally push a boulder halfway up a hill, only to have it slip out of his hands and roll back to the bottom.
Sawyer’s point was that if data center staff continues to stretch its resources and still gets the job done but the budget remains flat or is cut, that flattens morale and gets employees back at the bottom of the hill, so to speak.
Sawyer didn’t make any analogies between the data center and the Oedipus and Electra complexes, thank goodness.
Lehman’s – data centers here today, on sale tomorrow
In her little anecdote on the economy, Maureen Versen from Siemens Building Technologies said that about six months ago, she was meeting with Lehman Brothers regarding the state of their data centers, including their new ones.
“Less than a month ago, Lehman’s was gone,” she said. In the meantime, Barclays sucked up those properties at a cheap rate, at least as far as data center lots are concerned. It begs the question about whether the current economy might lead to the same level of empty data center space that existed after the Internet economy problems at the start of the century.
Sam Somashekar from CA, also a board member for the Data Center Institute board, had a couple interesting slides at the end of his presentation talking about green data centers.
Stating that going green was an “important factor in today’s economic climate.”
One of his slides:
Model for the rest of the business to “Go Green”
Become a better “corporate citizen”!
The quote marks around “Go Green” and “corporate citizen” were the parts I found interesting. I inferred that Somashekar figured that data centers aren’t going to “go green” just to “go green,” unless the green refers to money. Ditto with “corporate citizen.” I could be reading too much into it, though.]]>
But should they take advantage of it, and does it matter?
In a survey this year of SearchDataCenter.com readers, we found that almost half (47%) of the 579 data center IT and facility employees we questioned had “no certifications to date.” Furthermore, more than two-thirds said that certification has neither been a factor in hiring, promotion, nor a salary increase/bonus.
So then the question becomes: Why bother with certification?
Those that offer it – such as ASHRAE, Marist College’s Institute for Data Center Professionals, and APC’s Data Center University – claim that the certifications help data center pros keep up-to-date on what’s going on in the industry. Here’s a blurb from the IDCP site:
…the mission of the IDCP is to support the professionals responsible for and working in data centers by providing a variety of credit-bearing and non-credit classes appropriate for employee development and training.
And from Data Center University:
The changing nature of data centers‚ and the technology that impacts them‚ makes it even more critical that employees remain up to date on the current theories and best practices for issues around topics of power‚ cooling‚ management‚ security‚ and planning.
There is no question that there is a knowledge gap when it comes to finding comprehensive data center pros. Pete Sacco, president of PTS Data Center Solutions, told me that he has a difficult time finding people with the breadth of knowledge in both IT and facilities management that he can hire. It usually requires education – either in academia or in the workforce – of computer technology and engineering, and he said that not too many people out there have it. And even though going to data center conferences and events that groups like AFCOM, The Uptime Institute, The Green Grid and Gartner put on can help, it may not provide that level of detailed education that you need to solve problems in the field.
Many of the data center managers out there started as overall facilities managers, and are now taking on the task of handling energy-sucking data centers, which are completely different animals from handling the HVAC in your typical office environment.
I think that although certification isn’t popping up now as being important, it may in the future. And even if it doesn’t, the knowledge required to handle these data centers is and will continue to be important, especially if that knowledge becomes rarer in the future than it already is now.]]>
Microsoft had already said they were looking in the area for a suitable data center location. It is expected to compare in size to one Microsoft is building in San Antonio, Texas, and employ about 75 high-tech workers at about $70,000 a pop.
Iowa has become a popular place lately for data center facilities, with Google already there building in Council Bluffs, which is right next to Omaha, Neb., about 120 miles west of Des Moines (which in turn is about 300 miles west of Chicago, for those unfamiliar with the Midwest). Why is it popular?
It also doesn’t hurt that Iowa is thirsty for data centers to the point of offering financial incentives to two of the largest companies in the country (Microsoft and Google) to go there. Do those incentives benefit both sides? Not everyone agrees.]]>
The perimeter patrol is an integral part of our data center operations designed so our staff can constantly monitor and control the data center’s status and its operational readiness. Each patrol takes around an hour to perform and is a top-to-bottom inspection of our facility and server environment.
The list provides a great guideline for ensuring your data center’s health.
Link VIA Rich Miller’s Twitter feed.]]>