Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Data center operations, Uptime Institute Network, Uptime Institute Operational Sustainability, Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 06-03-2013
The lack of attention and resource allocation to data center operations has been a looming issue since the founding of Uptime Institute. A highly resilient data center design is not enough because every design can be defeated by human error.
As market conditions and IT economics drive new data centers and consolidation, a robust facilities management program is even more essential.
Take the Crisis of Facilities Management Pop Quiz
• Are you confident in your Facilities team’s ability to manage a technologically advanced and highly efficient design to your 24×7 availability requirements?
• Can you easily replace any member of that team?
• Are you protected against poor operations practices migrating from older sites to higher-criticality data centers?
• Do you have sites that operate in isolation without adhering to global corporate standards? Do you even have corporate global standards?
• If you outsource any aspect of your data center operations, how do you avoid losing responsibility and accountability? Do you manage a contract or direct an expert team?
Attend Uptime Institute Symposium 2013 and gain the insight you need to make informed decisions for your organization. The Symposium program features dozens of sessions focusing on the challenges of the data center operations professional, including this sample:
• Knowing Data Center Operational Cost IS Your Job
• The Why and How of Third-Party Data Center Due Diligence
• Superstorm Sandy Lessons Learned
• Building a Data Center Facilities Team
• High Energy Efficiency! Low workforce productivity?
We will also host a pre-conference tutorial, drawing conclusions form working with Uptime Institute clients and members to provide guidance and real-world experience on the core elements of a successful data center facilities management program.
Uptime Institute technical staff will discuss: How to better manage staff skills and qualification; the importance of thorough commissioning; and advice for developing technical documentation and maintenance policies.
Register here. We look forward to seeing you in May.
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 Uptime Institute Network | Posted on 07-09-2012
Next month, Uptime Institute Network North America members will convene on the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, GA to share best practices, tour world class data centers and interact with industry thought leaders. This annual conference gathers an elite group of data center operations professionals in a confidential, private setting.
Topics covered at this year’s event include:
• New analysis of the Uptime Institute Abnormal Incident Reporting database
• EPA Tier4 Emissions regulations for stationary, non-emergency generators
• Modular data center deployment
• Heat/airflow containment technology
• Disaster recovery planning
• Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) implementation
• UPS and cooling system designs
• Data center maintenance best practices
• IT product evaluations across server, storage, and networking systems
• Data center capacity planning
• Data center training and skills.
The Uptime Institute formed the Uptime Institute Network in 1993 to directly address and resolve issues affecting continuous site infrastructure availability. The Network’s mission is to identify, quantify, and improve infrastructure availability by facilitating information exchange among members, as well as between members and the Institute’s faculty of industry experts. The Network (North America, Europe, Middle East, & Africa [EMEA], Asia Pacific [APAC] and Brasil) are a consortium of member companies responsible for the most critical data centers worldwide. Through unique member-driven collaborative learning, members of the Network have steadily achieved higher levels of availability.
Click here for more information on joining the Uptime Institute Network. Or contact Anton Hios, Vice President, Global Director Uptime Institute Network +1-212-991-6298 email@example.com for more information on the Network or the meeting.
Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Data center design, Uptime Institute Network, Uptime Tier Certification Awards | Posted on 08-08-2012
The photos below are from a recent visit to the Verizon data center in Northeast Ohio. This site was awarded Uptime Institute Tier III Facility Certification, U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold and most recently, an Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT Award.
From the press release:
Designed from the ground up with a focus on the environment, the Twinsburg Data Center spans 140,000 square feet and features energy-saving technologies, including warm water cooling, high efficiency pumps and fans, and LED lighting. In addition to an aggressive materials recycling program, the center utilizes heat from computers to warm the building and melt snow in winter around the facility. Melted snow is cleaned and recycled and used to provide water in building lavatories or to supplement the cooling system.
I was joined on the tour by staff from Akron, OH-based Peters, Tschantz & Associates, Inc. PTA provided Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Technology systems design services to Verizon Wireless for their Twinsburg Data Center. Pat Klanac, Associate, Sr. Mechanical Engineer at PTA is an Uptime Institute Accredited Tier Designer and led the project.
Thomas Truelove, Manager IT and Data Center Operations, led the tour of the facility. Thomas is a member of the Uptime Institute Network and had just presented on the Verizon site at a recent Network meeting.
Verizon owns and operates a great looking data center, as you can see in the photos below.
Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Data center availability, Uptime Institute Network | Posted on 25-07-2012
In this new video, data center operators and executives discuss the benefits of being members of the Uptime Institute Network. Membership enhances Facilities and IT operations. Longtime participation in the Network reduces the frequency and duration of unplanned downtime.
For more information on the Uptime Institute Network, visit: UptimeInstitute.com/network