A new data center user group, built on Linked-In profiles and spearheaded by executives from Sun Microsystems and VMware, held its first in-person gathering last week at Sun’s Santa Clara, Calif. headquarters.
Data Center Pulse (DCP) garnered over 675 online end-user supporters from 400 companies around the world, though only around 30 members showed up in person last week.
The goal of the inaugural DCP conference (more like a BarCamp or unconference) was to develop a list of goals and demands for the data center vendors, and industry groups.
While the founding members of DCP didn’t know what the group’s future would hold or what shape the organization should take — they did have one clear goal: To shape the industry through data center owner and operator feedback.
These are my interpretations of the group’s top ten goals and demands. They are subject to clarification, as they’d bubbled up from working group discussions 30 minutes before they were announced:
1. Align the data center industry organizations (AFCOM, The Green Grid, The Uptime Institute and ASHRAE) under a single international umbrella organization that could speak with one voice for the data center community; bring competing organizations to sit at the same table and collaborate; and to curate a body of data center standards.
2. Develop a data center certification, requiring new data centers to meet certain efficiency criteria, like the fuel efficiency standards on vehicles. It would be a consistent baseline to measure efficiency and drive improvement.
3. Come up with a standard definition of the “data center stack” from top to bottom.
4. Update or dump the Uptime Institute Tier Levels. See Mark Fontecchio’s recent story for more on this topic.
5. Demand data center infrastructure vendors develop more modular products. Stop the fixed, over-provisioned designs. Users want plug-and-play data center capacity
6. The members want an objective way to perform peer-to-peer data center efficiency comparisons. A standard measurement protocol to compare your PUE is against Google and Microsoft. Healthy competition drives efficiency.
7. Users want a common communication standard to monitor all layers of the power delivery system, connecting building management and IT systems.
8. Standardize conductive (liquid) cooling. Encourage ASHRAE to finish and publish a standard on liquid cooling technology. People want to get rid of air.
9. Push vendors to develop higher voltage (480/277volt) servers, allowing users to get rid of one transformer loss and driving up efficiency.
10. Create a repository: A neutral location to house and present data center information. Design best practices, specific server hardware configuration load measurements versus nameplate data, and user-generated vendor evaluations.
Data Center Pulse is gaining a ton of momentum very quickly, and may in fact be able to bring some of these changes to fruition. How do these ten points match up with your data center demands.