FOCUS DCD NEW YORK
Issue 8, Feb/Mar 10
DatacenterDynamics New York Conference 2010
This year we are very proud to have Kevin Timmons, general manager of data center operations at Global Foundation Services, delivering what promises to be a fascinating keynote address: Are We Reaching an Infl ection Point in our industry? Challenging preconceptions of how data centers and IT infrastructure are designed, built and operated
DatacenterDynamicsFOCUS asked Kevin Timmons about his views on industry developments.
DCDF: What was the most important data center development of 2009?
Kevin Timmons: The most significant development in our industry is the unprecedented challenge brought on by economic concerns and global competition in the race to support future opportunities in the cloud. Data center professionals are at a crossroads and have tough decisions to make when it comes to the future health and success of their businesses. Do they wait until the economy gets better before investing in their businesses? Or do they continue to invest and look for strong ROI? The economic climate caused many projects and some frivolous innovations to be put on hold, other projects to be cancelled outright, and reduced the scope and scale of countless others.
The economic climate brought us back around to a singular focus on providing exactly what our businesses require, which is greater levels of availability and unprecedented cost efficiency. However, I believe that challenging times do present their own opportunities if you’re smart about where you place your bets.
DCDF: What would most positively impact the data center sector in 2010?
KT: Data center geeks are no longer the prettiest girl at the IT dance. Becoming the drivers of hardcore supply chain machines that execute at high levels of precision and efficiency, with standards for accountability and transparency, will be our contribution to driving a more realistic way to look at these magnificent machines we call data centers. The utilisation of the data center will have one of the most positive impacts in our industry, as well as for the customers and businesses we serve. We are having lots of conversations with our customers, partners and industry organisations around value – how to get more and create more.
The golden age of the data center has
officially ended and we’re entering a new, more realistic phase in the lifecycle of this most critical piece of IT infrastructure. Our industry has the potential to help facilitate healthy, sustainable growth and an affordable infrastructure to help boost economic growth.
One of the participants in a roundtable discussion of key developments of 2009 and projections for 2010 will be Cyrus Izzo, co-CEO and co-president of Syska Hennessy Group. He offered some of his thoughts on the panel’s subject matter to FOCUS.
DCDF: What were key developments in 2009?
Cyrus Izzo: While waiting for economic recovery in the industry, data center growth fell from its heights due to lightened demand, cost of equipment and because lead times dropped. However, some financially strong clients who were tired of waiting for the recovery decided to proceed with their projects anyway. Other developments we observed included PUE becoming a statistic of interest in the corporate boardroom.
DCDF: What will be the challenges for 2010?
CI: All companies, regardless of the industry or market, are looking to control energy costs and save money. For critical facilities and data centers, managers are under pressure to reduce operating costs while maintaining availability.
Our job as engineers and business partners is to help clients maximise budgets and achieve energy savings at the same time. In addition to costs, controlling schedule will also be crucial – especially when pent-up construction demand returns.
Designing flexible spaces that can adapt to future changes is still an ongoing challenge. Situations can change for our clients and we need to think ahead so we are ready to accommodate any desired modifications. Data centers should also be sustainable, as well as cost-efficient and flexible. With that
said, possible carbon cap and trade legislation implications must also be considered.
DCDF: How will the industry accommodate change over the next 12 months?
CI: We see that many companies with smaller data centers that need upgrading or expansion will instead go to colocators, web hosters or cloud computing to satisfy their needs.
Generally speaking, industry professionals need to already have the basic mindset of being accommodating to change and make adjustments where necessary. Being a visionary and staying ahead of the game is vital for survival.
As the world continues to advance technologically, we need to be committed to our industry, striving for innovative and creative solutions to complex technical challenges. We need to be on the leading edge, not the bleeding edge.
Panellists for the discussion of trends in the US data center real estate market will include Jason Shepard, SVP and practice leader for the Technology Practice Group at CB Richard Ellis. Shepard also shared some of his opinions on the industry with FOCUS:
DCDF: What, in your opinion, was the most important development in the industry in 2009?
Jason Shepard: A challenging economic environment in 2009, coupled with underpowered data center facilities and pent-up demand, have led to a resurgence in the colocation market. Not only has this been seen in the retail colocation market, but also by the adoption of wholesale colocation by larger corporate users as an alternative to building.
DCDF: What single advancement would most positively impact the sector in 2010?
JS: An advancement to consider would be sales tax abatements on new IT hardware purchases for companies that can show
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