Data Center World Spring: What You Missed
AFCOM President Tom Roberts presents the Data Center Manager of the Year Award to Michael Cunningham, University of Texas at Austin, next to the other two finalists: Bryon Miller, SVP of Operations, Fortrust (second from right), and Brian Smith, Director, Critical Facilities, Cerner Corp.

Data Center World Spring: What You Missed

Data center management chaos, robots, diversifying data center customer needs, dealing with energy companies, and Rudy (oh my)

At its 35th-anniversary Data Center World Spring conference in Las Vegas this week, AFCOM, a data center industry professionals organization, changed its content mix in a preview of things to come to better reflect the changing industry landscape. AFCOM President Tom Roberts told us about the need for more collaboration across different teams that work in the data center and the show's attempt to reflect that earlier this month.

Here's a roundup of some of the show's highlights covered on Data Center Knowledge this week (disclaimer: AFCOM and Data Center Knowledge are sister companies):

Data Center World officially kicked off with a keynote from Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. Rudy gave his inspirational story of the underdog. Rudy’s message was that the importance of a right attitude and drive transcends the sports world and applies to the data center world just as much.

Rudy Ruettiger, the Notre Dame football player whose quest to make the team was turned into the poplular movie 'Rudy,' throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 13, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Rudy Ruettiger, the Notre Dame football player whose quest to make the team was turned into the poplular movie 'Rudy,' throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 13, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Designing at Hyper Scale

Microsoft’s Paul Slater believes robots replacing some of the humans working in data centers today is not only a real possibility but something that’s likely to happen within the next decade. In a Monday presentation, Slater also discussed Microsoft’s data center efficiency strategy and its seven key tenets.

An aerial view of the 470,0000 square foot Microsoft data center in San Antonio, Texas (Photo: Microsoft)

An aerial view of the 470,0000 square foot Microsoft data center in San Antonio, Texas (Photo: Microsoft)

The Chaos of Being a Colo for Government Research

U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Scott Milliken discussed how he and his team reined in data center management chaos. In a behind-the-scenes look, Milliken described the challenge of managing one of the most chaotic types of data center environments.

Dept. of Energy's Titan supercomputer, one of the HPC systems housed at one of the Oak Ridge National Lab's data centers, took second place on the 2012 Top500 list (Photo: DOE)

Dept. of Energy's Titan supercomputer, one of the HPC systems housed at one of the Oak Ridge National Lab's data centers, took second place on the 2012 Top500 list (Photo: DOE)

Making Intelligent Power Purchase Decisions

Power is the lifeblood of the data center, making data center power buying decisions all the more important. However, the common practice of waiting 30 to 90 days before a current contract expires is exactly the wrong thing to do, explained Cara Canovas, sales director at Noble Americas Energy Solutions. Waiting until then favors the energy supplier. There are intricacies to making these decisions, but the bottom line is a smart approach can save money and hedge risk.

Designing Colos for Shifting Client Needs

ViaWest’s chief data center officer Dave Leonard discussed modern data center design. Customer needs are diversifying. The modern data center provider needs to build incrementally in a way that both accommodates those needs and maintains quality.

10 Things to Know When Selecting a DCIM Vendor

You probably know by now what DCIM is and what it's for. You may even be considering a deployment, but with nearly every data center infrastructure vendor claiming to have the best DCIM software on the market, how do you get a better signal-to-noise ration? At this week's show, Stuart Hallin, a senior technical consultant for Cormant, offered some vendor-neutral tips on how to pick a DCIM solution.

Perimeter Security Should't Be a One-Off Affair

What goes on inside of data centers is extremely important, and proper perimeter security for early intrusion detection is a must. Southwest Microwave’s Tim Claus discussed design considerations and cost considerations when building and maintaining a perimeter security strategy.

Perimeter security isn't just

Perimeter security isn't just "set it and forget it", it's an ongoing process (image: Southwest Microwave)

Ever Thought of Combined Heat and Power?

It's may seem an unusual technology for the data center industry, but combined heat and power has been around for more than 100 years and successfully employed by many other industries. As Terence Waldron, of Waldron Construction and Engineering, explained at the conference, a natural-gas-fueled combined heat and power plant can become the primary source of both power and chilled water in a data center.

Data Center Manager of the Year Named

Michael Cunningham of the University of Texas at Austin was named AFCOM’s Data Center Manager Of The Year in a Tuesday lunch ceremony. Cunningham built a professional data center culture seemingly from scratch and completely modernized the University’s IT. Last year’s winner was IO’s Jason Pfaff, who oversees IO’s North American data center footprint.

New Gear!

And of course no data center show worth its salt should go without new product announcements. Vendors introduced a range of new software and gear for data centers this week in Las Vegas. From cooling systems to racks, PDUs, cabling solutions, and 3D modeling software, there was a lot to look at on the exhibit floor.

Mark your calendar for the next Data Center World Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Sept. 20-23, 2015. If you are interested in speaking at the conference submit your proposal athttp://www.datacenterworld.com/fall/speaking/submit-a-presentation/

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