Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Data center jobs | Posted on 26-04-2013
Tags: Data center cleaning
We recently met with Lee Kirby, CEO of Salute Inc. a data center cleaning and installation firm and felt it was important to share what this organization is doing.
Salute provides data center cleaning and installation services that are executed with military precision. The company hires only honorably discharged veterans who have proven values of discipline, reliability and integrity.
“It is a pretty simple value statement and has enormous potential to provide quality services to the data center industry because of our standard operating procedures, hiring practices, training and precision execution,” Kirby said.
“I started out in the Infantry so the second order benefit of Salute’s success, that motivates me personally, is that we are providing jobs for veterans who have the hardest time finding employment after they have served their country. So for me, this is more than business, it is a chance to give back to those I served with for 36 years.”
Salute is putting veterans to work that have value based skills such as discipline, reliability and integrity that will benefit the data center industry. According to Kirby, Salute can provide a better service to the industry with standard operating procedures, hiring practices, training and precision execution.
But probably the most interesting aspect of this program, especially to our Network members who are well aware of the problems hiring data center staff, the Salute program establishes a progressive career platform for veterans to the data center market.
Posted by Jeannette Beltran | Posted in Data center availability, Data center design, Data center energy efficiency, Data center jobs, Data center operations, Green IT | Posted on 07-01-2013
Kenneth G. Brill is the Founder of the Uptime Institute and the Site Uptime Network. Many data center industry innovations over the past 25 years can be traced back to his original concepts, including dual power, the industry’s Tier system for evaluating and classifying data center facility performance, and IT/facility energy efficiency and productivity measurement. Mr. Brill’s research into the Economic Meltdown of Moore’s Law, Data Center Productivity and Energy Efficiency, and IT’s declining economics form core knowledge to be taken into account by corporate leaders charged with business performance, profitability, and sustainability.
In 2008 through 2010, Brill was an IT columnist for Forbes.com. His essays for senior executives combine uncommon common-sense ideas with real-life illustrations to set practical IT management priorities. We’ve compiled a selection of his best columns on a range of topics, including data center energy use; effective cross-department communication; and the changing nature and future of the IT industry.
You can download a PDF of Ken Brill’s advice for data center and IT professionals by clicking here.
Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Data center jobs, Uptime Institute Network | Posted on 01-11-2012
Earlier this month, Uptime Institute Network members convened in Atlanta at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead for the North America Fall Meeting.
One of the predominant themes of the event (and persistent discussions in the industry in general) is the looming retirement of the current generation of data center professionals. The data center industry doesn’t have a very good farm system: an organization or activity that serves as a training ground for higher-level endeavors.
“Over 75% of our facilities staff are between 55-65 years old,” one attendee said. “We all grew up in the industry together.” And many organizations worry that all of these skilled, experienced people are going to retire together as well, and a second generation of data center operators is not waiting to take their place.
Part of the challenge in hiring junior data center staff is due to poorly-defined titles and responsibilities often associated with these positions. “If you’re not specific on the job posting, you get apartment maintenance guys,” one of the Network’s panelists said. “But if you get too specific, good people are turned away because they think they’re under-qualified.”
Data center operations experts don’t have a clear career path. Senior staff often work their way up in an organization from different backgrounds and professions. Having a experience in electrical engineering or IT systems management are obvious desirable skills, but many new data center hires will not come from those fields. Hiring managers are looking for specific traits and attributes that aren’t easily recognizable on a résumé. One attendee recently hired an employee who’s last job had been in a bakery — the desired traits and attributes matched up for a person predisposed to working in a critical environment: attention to detail, ability to follow instructions, ability to learn, and mechanical/technical aptitude.
“The perfect candidate doesn’t exist. They’ve already got a job,” one panelist said. “One of our recent data center job applicants was a chiropractor. His cover letter was fantastic: I don’t know what you do, but I’m a doctor and I’m sure I can learn it. If we look outside the box, we can train new employees on the technical details.”
So how do you hire to those attributes that may not be apparent from a job application? One panelist suggested interviewing your best employee. “Find out what his traits and attributes are, and design an interview that gets at those traits.”
Other tips from the Network for hiring better data center staff included:
-Keep a data center technician position open on your company’s Web site all the time to get a steady stream of new applicants.
-Try before you buy. Bring in temporary employees for a couple months and hire the best candidates full time.
-Work with your local community college to create a mission critical facilities curriculum. Offer to help build labs and simulators.
The North American , EMEA, APAC and Brasil Uptime Institute Network represent mostly Fortune 100 companies for whom site infrastructure availability is a serious concern. The Networks offer a community that allows companies to collectively and interactively learn from one another as well as from Institute-facilitated conferences, site tours, benchmarking, best practices, and abnormal incident collection and analysis. Click here to: View a video of Network members testimonials and to see the full list of benefits.
Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Cloud Computing, Data center jobs, Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 26-05-2011
At Uptime Symposium 2011, Mike Manos gave a great presentation on how data center managers should engage with their IT and business management counterparts to come up with an integrated cloud-data center strategy. Manos said the data center facilities professionals he’s talked to about cloud computing sound like Eeyore, a pessimistic stuffed donkey from the Winnie-the-Pooh children’s books. Here are a set of video highlights from the presentation from Dave O’Hara’s blog.
Manos’s talk covered a lot of ground, but the main takeaway was that data center facilities managers need to embrace change, drive new technology adoption, and take the initiative with executive management. Manos wrote in a blog post that the most popular sessions at Symposium weren’t necessarily end users doing something new or cutting edge, but instead traditional enterprises (i.e. not Google or Facebook) adopting newer technologies.
But still… from Manos’s blog.
There was still a healthy population of people who were downplaying those technologies. Downplaying their own ability to do those things. Re-stating the perennial dogmatic chant that these types of things (essentially any new ideas post 2001 in my mind) would never work for their companies.
Jay Fry from CA wrote a good blog post on Manos’s talk and pointed out the takeaway for data center managers getting ready to jump into cloud computing:
It means an investment to get applications ready for what happens when infrastructure fails (which it does) and to understand the operational impact of moving to the cloud (which is too often overlooked). It means an acknowledgment that a move to the cloud means a clearer understanding between how applications are architected and how data center facilities are run. Or at least an understanding of what you need to know when computing begins to happen both inside and outside your physical premises.
Regardless of the technology — be it cloud computing, higher inlet air temperatures, economization — data center professionals need to actively drive new technology adoption and strategy to stay relevant in today’s corporate environments where increasingly more IT workloads are being moved off-premise. Cloud computing happens to be the most visible at this point.
So to steal one of my favorite sayings from Uptime Institute Executive Director Pitt Turner, what are you going to do when you get back to your office on Monday about cloud computing?
Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Data center jobs, Uptime Institute Operational Sustainability | Posted on 31-03-2011
Data Center Knowledge reported on AFCOM’s new “State of the Data Center” survey results, and pointed out that server and storage deployments are growing, while data center staff is shrinking, or staying the same in most data centers.
According to preliminary results from Uptime Institute’s Inaugural Data Center Survey, 71% of data center owners/operators had 24×7 staffing at their data centers. Around 32% of respondents said their data centers were understaffed. And 60% reported budget as the most significant constraint on staffing needs.
According to Uptime Institute’s AIR database, 70% of reported data center outages are directly attributable to human error. Management decisions regarding staffing levels, training and maintenance may have the most significant impact on a data center site’s availability over time. This is why staffing requirements play such a prominent role in Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard Operational Sustainability (see document for staffing/availability requirements matrix).
The right number of qualified people on appropriate shifts is critical to meeting long-term performance objectives, providing a comprehensive maintenance program, and coordinating effective financial management and capacity planning in the data center.
Click here to participate in Uptime Institute’s Inaugural data center survey and receive a free copy of the findings.
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