Data center facilities pro

Oct 6 2008   8:03PM GMT

Some tidbits from the keynote

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Members of AFCOM’s Data Center Institute gave the keynote for the Data Center World conference here in Orlando, and here were some tidbits from the speech that I wasn’t able to include in the main story.

Sisyphus complex

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.

“Corporate citizen”

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.

2  Comments on this Post

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  • Ssomashekar
    Hi Mark...Thank you for your comments on the keynote. You are correct in that data centers aren't going to "Go Green" for the sake of "Going Green", as the initial driver of undertaking such an initiative is predominantly saving money on the bottom line. However, Green IT initiatives are a subset of Sustainability, and by implementing such an initiative you become a better "corporate citizen"; that is, you become a steward of social responsibility by default.
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  • Mark Fontecchio
    Sam, thanks for your comments, and I agree with you. I think there are companies out there who are looking to be good corporate citizens, and not just good "corporate citizens," if that construct makes sense. In other words, I think there are companies out there who will be good corporate citizens only if it's by default or a side-effect of saving money. Although the result is the same for both groups, so I'm not sure if it matters in the end.
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