Data center industry groups provide critical connections and resources for busy professionals, offering opportunities for peer networking, professional education and the advancement of best practices. Here’s a look at some of the leading groups providing thought leadership for the data center industry:
With a 30 year history, AFCOM is the oldest data center group. It’s best known for running local chapters, mainly in North America, but it has a few International chapters. The chapter system is a great way to meet local, like-minded professionals in your area. A list of chapters is available here. The group runs several local symposiums as well as the Data Center World series of conferences. Founded in 1982, AFCOM was the first major association of data center and facilities management professionals.
In addition to local chapters, it provides publications and research tools. Individual membership is $300 while Site Membership (three memberships within the same company and location) is $690 per year.
The 7×24 Exchange International is best known for a series of top notch conferences, holding several events each year. These events are well-attended by top data center professionals.
7×24 is a place to congregate for those that design, build, operate and maintain mission-critical enterprise information infrastructures. 7×24 Exchange runs a series of 7×24 Exchange conferences and has several international and state chapters. The group also produces a magazine available digitally. National dues are $300 for end user companies, and $1000 for Consulting and Vendor organizations.
The Uptime Institute is best known for its Tier Certifications, which are standards that determine fault tolerance and sustainability of a facility. These standards have not been made public.
Founded 1993, Uptime Institute is focused on improving data center performance and efficiency through collaboration and innovation. It is best known for data center Tier Certifications, but provides education, publications, consulting, conferences and seminars. It’s an independent division of The 451 Group.
The Green Grid is on the forefront of defining metrics in the data center. Perhaps the most well-know Green Grid metric is PUE – Power Usage Effectiveness, which has been a measuring stick for facility efficiency. The Green Grid has expanded into several other metrics in order to help data centers define and improve efficiency.
The Green Grid seeks to unite global industry efforts, create a common set of metrics, and develop technical resources and educational tools to further its goals. It’s a non-profit, open industry consortium of end users, policy makers, technology providers, facility architects, and utility companies. Company memberships range from $950 – $25,000, while individual memberships are $400
Cooling is critical for data centers, and The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning (ASHRAE) is the leading organization in this field. ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9 looks to be the unbiased engineering leader in HVAC and an effective provider of technical information for the datacom industry. TC 9.9 is concerned with design, operations, maintenance and efficient energy usage of modern data centers and technology spaces. The organization provides several white papers on standards and general management. Meeting minutes are also available by year.
The ODCA has a rich library around usage models and best practices for enterprise cloud, available to non-members for free. It’s a great resource to delve deep into cloud best practices.
The ODCA’s mission is to speed the migration to cloud computing by enabling the solution and service ecosystem to address IT requirements with the highest level of interoperability and standards. Founded in 2010 by a consortium of leading global IT organizations, the ODCA publishes several reports on its findings, defining usage models for requirements based on open, industry-standard, multi-vendor solutions that support a vision of secure federation, automation, common management, and transparency.
Membership dues range from $1,000 up, subject to approval by the Steering Committee comprised of board members from leading enterprises.
Data Center Pulse has an end-user focus when it comes to data centers. It’s home to several blogs of industry leaders (Founder and President Mark Thiele, as one example).
Formed in 2008, Data Center Pulse is a global group of data center owners, operators and users. The goal of the community is to track the industry and influence the future of the data center through discussion and debate. To join, you must add yourself to the Data Center Pulse LinkedIn group