About 780 data center and facilities managers gathered at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix for a robust conference presented by the 7X24 Exchange this week. The attendance was record breaking, according to Robert Cassiliano, chairman of 7X24 Exchange's board. Presentations covered such topics as site selection, staffing challenges, batteries, the new Open Compute Project, the EPA Energy Star program and "hidden threats to data center reliability."
Mike Manos, previously general manager of Data Center Services at Microsoft and now SVP Tech Ops at AOL, presented on "managing disruption" in the data center industry. He used examples from his 10-month tenure at AOL where the company is going through massive and disruptive change (such as acquiring new web properties) and during the AOL's 27-year lifespan, it has accumulated a great deal of legacy equipment and processes. (See also AOL: 60,000 Servers, Retooling for the Future.)
Two Facebook executives, Tom Furlong and Jay Park, presented to a well attended session about Facebook's experiences with its recently launched data center in Prineville, OR. The Facebook team was able to eliminate UPS/PDU units by creating a 48V DC UPS unit at the rack level. They also gave an overview of Open Compute Project, which opensources hardware designs used in Facebook facilities and has expanded to create an opensource community around infrastructure.
Robert Gibson, a partner from AFK Group, spoke about Deutsche Bank's ECO data center project which aimed to be extremely energy efficient. He showed how airflow is managed in a data center pod which was constructed within an existing Deutsche Bank building built in the 1920s, located in the Northeast. Animations from the project showed attendees the engineering models of hot and cold air management in the contained pod units.