Staying on Top of an Ever-Evolving Industry

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Tom Roberts is President of AFCOM, the leading association supporting the educational and professional development needs of data center professionals around the globe.

Tom_Roberts_tnTOM ROBERTS
AFCOM

As you read this column, I am in Las Vegas surrounded by more than 2,000 of my closest friends from the data center and facilities management fields. As president of AFCOM, I couldn’t think of a better place to be than Data Center World Spring 2013!

As you know, no one in this industry can afford to grow stale or complacent. There are many ways to stay updated and in-touch, such as with AFCOM’s bi-monthly magazine (Data Center Management magazine), monthly e-mail newsletter (The Communique), a comprehensive Digital Library on our members’ website. All of these can assist data center professionals in gaining relevant and practical education.

Face-to-Face Interaction With Colleagues

Yet, there is still nothing that as interactive as face-to-face meetings and conversations, which is why we convene two events per year and support our local chapters. At Data Center World, you’ll find the industry’s “movers and shakers” all under one roof. By that I mean data center professionals from every industry – government, health, financial, education – with expertise in all facets of the data center. Through case studies given by pros who are on the front lines, you can really “dig in” to the information. For example, here’s some thought leaders who will be at DCW:

  • Eric Lakin, manager of ILM Facilities for Trinity Health, will address ILM, one of the least understood but most beneficial long-term strategies an organization with a large amount of data can implement. Business value is the driver for ILM policies including active storage, archiving, and ultimately disposal. His session, “Why You Should Have an Information Lifecycle Management Strategy,” will examine the benefits of an ILM program and discuss the first steps required to make it a reality.
  • Joseph Furmanski, Associate Director of Data Center Facilities and Technology for UPMC, will present a fascinating ongoing project in which consumer technologies are used to manage corporate infrastructure—a shift away from traditional desktops and laptops to tablets and cell phones with apps such as YouTube, Blogspot, DropBox, Skype and QR Codes.
  • Myron Sees, Sr. Staff Data Center Specialist at Chevron, will discuss design standards in a session titled “The Development of Data Center Design Standards for Global Data Centers.” In it, he describes how Chevron developed design standards and standard operating procedures for 100 plus data centers that spanned the globe, yet varied in required redundancy, power, cooling and other requirements.

Through the years, Data Center World attendees have requested more and more peer interaction so this conference includes a number of “platforums,” a term we coined to refer to idea-generating panels and roundtable discussions. Sometimes the most innovative solutions come from these casual, yet specific settings. They include topics like Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery, Energy Efficiency Rebates and DCIM.

One Stop Shopping, Too

Once attendees discover a solution or solutions that fit their data center, they can move to the expo hall, where exhibitors talk specifically about products. The final step is to get face-to-face time in the trade show hall with your companies of choice to help you make a decision.

At AFCOM, our mission is to advance the education of industry professionals, by providing comprehensive vendor-neutral insight and analysis in key areas affecting all data centers. Data Center World is a cornerstone of our mission to keep the industry “up- to-speed.”

If you would like to know what’s going on at Data Center World this very moment, visit us on Facebook and Twitter (@DataCenterWorld) or follow all the conference news at Data Center Knowledge (@datacenter).

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

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