Scenes from Uptime Symposium 2012

About 1,700 data center professionals, consultants and vendors gathered this week for the seventh annual Uptime Institute Symposium at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif. The Institute, a division of The 451 Group, included speakers from the industry as well as their own data center analysts.

The focus of the four-day symposium, which included more than 120 presentations and sessions, was Digital Infrastructure Convergence and the rise of pre-fabricated modular units that house power, cooling and IT gear. Data center industry leaders shared strategies and best practices for optimizing the performance and lowering costs of building and operating data center facilities.

George Slessman, CEO of IO

George Slessman, CEO of IO, said the digitally augmented world in which we all live is supported by IT in data centers. He asserted that building traditional data centers takes too long, costs too much, and lacks scalability. Prefabricated modular units are a better alternative to traditional bricks-and-mortar data center builds, he said. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

Gary Cook, Greenpeace

Greenpeace Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook challenged the data center industry to commit to increased use of renewable energy, including establishing data center siting policies with demonstrable preference for renewable energy sources. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

Andy Lawrence, who leads the data center technologies and the Eco-Efficient IT research practices at 451 Research, mentioned the chief claims of modular vendors as speed of deployment, lower costs, better reliability and efficiencies. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

John Stanley

John Stanley, a senior analyst at 451 Research, presents findings on the economic differences between deploying modular data center units and traditional data center space. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

Economics Panelist

A panel discussion of the economics behind modular units included AST Modular CEO Henry Daunert, Digital Realty CTO Jim Smith and Schneider Electric's Neil Rasmussen AST is partnering with IBM to build the biggest data center park in China. The modules are built in Europe and shipped to China, Daunert noted. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

Dean Nelson, eBay

Dean Nelson, Diredtor of Global Foundation Services at eBay, shared about eBay's Project Mercury, a 14,000 square foot of data center space with 12 MW of power. Of that 7,000 square foot is in modular units from HP and Dell which are positioned on the roof of the e-commerce company's Phoenix data center location. The modular units are so remarkably efficient, he said, that they improve total site PUE averages. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

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The sunlit atrium of the Convention Center in Santa Clara was setting for the event