Change at the top: Rob Costa becomes North American Uptime Institute Network Director


Rob Costa Head Shot

Rob Costa

Rob Costa has just become Uptime Institute’s new North American Network Director, replacing Tony Ulichnie, who retired after four years in the role. Network members will miss Tony’s zeal for the role, sense of humor and upbeat personality. Network members will also appreciate the job Tony did as ownership of Uptime Institute and the Network transitioned to The 451 Group.

Rob assumes the role with the Uptime Institute Network after 37 years at Boeing and four in retirement. He recognizes that he will face significant challenges as Network Director, including increasing complexity, density and variety of IT models, which make data center operations ever more difficult. However, his experience at Boeing, where he spent 20 years managing the company’s primary data centers, gives him a store of relevant experience. And he is well-known among Network members, because Boeing joined the Network in 1996, when the organization was still called the Uninterruptible Uptime Users Group, serving as principal from about 2001-2011.

“We hosted several meetings at our Boeing site and found membership very valuable in managing enterprise data centers,” Rob said. This long-time and first-hand experience fuels Rob’s belief in the value of the Network.

His goals include increasing Network membership. “One of the big things we’re looking to do is grow the Network. We’re at about 66 now. We’d like to grow that to about 100 in three years to bring additional new companies on board with new ideas. We’d have new facility managers on board with fresh ideas of how to operate major enterprise data centers.”

Rob’s sense of history also helps him understand that growth in the Network is not solely about numbers. Most of all, the Network is a participatory group that shares both empirical and research-driven data in way that benefits Network members but often influences the entire industry.

Rob notes, “The network is always getting refreshed, even though many companies have been there for many years. The folks that are members are bringing with them their own personal ideas so you are always getting a new view of facility operations, maintenance. Also, IT involvement in the Network seems to be growing from where it used to be. I remember going to meetings and it would be all facilities people with one or two IT people among them.

“And now it seems to be that the population of the IT side of the house is growing within the membership,” he said.

As director, Rob will be in charge of ensuring that Network functions such as Abnormal Incident Reporting, Queries, conferences, and benchmarking operate smoothly while continuing to meet members’ needs in a changing IT environment.

Posted by Kevin Heslin on 15-08-2013
Categories: Uptime Institute Clients, Uptime Institute Network, Uptime Institute News
Tags: , ,

2013 Data Center Survey Results, Symposium videos available


At Symposium 2013 in May, Director of Content Matt Stansberry presented the preliminary results of the third annual Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey. This year’s survey asked approximately 1,000 facilities managers, IT managers and industry executives questions on a range of data center- and IT-related topics. The survey reveals some significant and even surprising findings. Of the information Matt covers in his keynote, “State of the Data Center 2013 Survey Results,” there were three big takeaways.

–          DCIM adoption is skyrocketing. The survey has the number at 38% adoption and 32% planning to adopt within the next two years, with capacity planning being the No. 1 driver. Capacity planning mistakes can be costly, and many seem to be implementing DCIM software in hopes of reducing potential errors.

–          Green IT is important in theory rather than in practice. While the majority of respondents described reducing data center energy use as “very important” — especially in Asia and EMEA, less so in North America – organizations haven’t   adopted a financial structure to drive further efficiency. In recent years many facilities managers have made great strides in cutting energy consumption, but with only 16% of IT departments responsible for the power bill, there is currently little incentive to reduce the IT load.

–          Performance and cost reporting is critical to keeping your job. Data center budgets are growing, but much of this money is going toward third-party data center services. The growing appeal of third-party options threatens the jobs of enterprise data center staff, but survey data suggests that operators of enterprise-owned data centers may not be doing all they can to keep operations in-house. A surprising 40% of enterprise data center operators have NO plans to report their cost and performance levels to their executives. Even if it’s in your company’s best interest to continue with enterprise data centers, the C-suite won’t know about it unless you report it. If this trend doesn’t change, it’s enterprise data center jobs on the line.    

The Symposium keynote only scratches the surface of the information you’ll find in this year’s full report on the survey results, however. To download the full PDF, click here.

In the coming weeks on this blog, I’ll highlight the other keynote sessions from Uptime Institute Symposium 2013 with embedded full-length videos and some of my thoughts on the information these speakers present. The videos, along with the slide decks from nearly all the Symposium sessions, have been available to Symposium 2013 attendees since June. But in September, we’ll be releasing a PDF to the general public that showcases all the great presentations from this year’s Symposium. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to access this content from some of the most respected thought leaders in the industry.

You can download the presentations from Symposium 2012 right now!

Also in September, we’ll begin publishing more details about the content of the next Uptime Institute Symposium. If you weren’t able to make it to Santa Clara for Symposium this year, do consider attending in 2014 – the high-quality content and opportunities to network and share ideas make Symposium a fantastic investment for your company and your career.

Posted by Jeannette Beltran on 14-08-2013
Categories: Uptime Institute Events, Uptime Institute Publications and Research, Uptime Institute Symposium
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The Uptime Institute Journal: Tales from the Data Center Industry


After just a few months at Uptime Institute, I have learned that it has a great story to tell. Wait, no, great stories. And the number of stories grows almost exponentially when its affiliation with 451 Research is considered. Surprisingly, though, until recently Uptime Institute had no truly public and lasting vehicle in which to tell its story.

(From left) Uptime Institute's Kevin Heslin, Matt Stansberry and Julian Kudritzki with the first issue of The Uptime Institute Journal at Symposium 2013.

(From left) Uptime Institute’s Kevin Heslin, Matt Stansberry and Julian Kudritzki with the first issue of The Uptime Institute Journal at Symposium 2013.

In May, we launched the The Uptime Institute Journal, a new publication in which we will spotlight some of the fascinating ideas, practices, and techniques that industry professionals share with us.  The Uptime Institute Journal aims to showcase notable projects, recognize individual and team accomplishments, and provide peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and innovation within the global data center industry. In our first issue, for example, we highlighted design ideas from distinguished Accredited Tier Designers (ATDs) around the world.

You can order a copy of the first issue of The Uptime Institute Journal by visiting our website.

The next issue, due out in October, will feature contributions from Uptime Institute Network members. In this issue, readers will find observations about operations and maintenance practices shared by Network members, plus information about other Uptime Institute programs, such as the Server Roundup, FORCSS, and the M&O stamp.

In future issues, we will continue to look at Network activities, while fully honoring the member non-disclosure issue, Tier Certifications, the ATD and Accredited Tier Specialist programs, Uptime Institute research programs, and conclusions drawn from our data-gathering activities.

Posted by Kevin Heslin on 12-08-2013
Categories: Uncategorized, Uptime Institute Accredited Tier Training, Uptime Institute Network, Uptime Institute Symposium

Introducing the Uptime Institute Content team


In February 2011, when Uptime Institute launched this blog, I was the only author. But over the months since, we have added several resources to the Uptime Institute content team. This week we are launching a new system and publishing schedule for this site, which serves as the main news conduit for what’s happening with Uptime Institute. With that  change, I’d like to introduce the new authors who will be contributing to this site on a regular basis.

contentteam (2)

Kevin Heslin is a senior editor at Uptime Institute, where he leads diverse communications and publications projects intended to communicate the value of the Uptime Institute Network as well as the Institute’s Certification and training programs. Before joining Uptime Institute, Heslin served as an editor at BNP Media from 1999-2013. In 2007, he helped found Mission Critical, the leading publication dedicated to data center and backup power professionals. As the editor of Mission Critical, he supervised development of the first issue, created the publication’s advisory board, developed column topics, recruited columnists, assigned features, and helped create the logo and other publication graphics.

Sarah Lee Thomas currently serves as Uptime Institute’s Senior Manager of Corporate Communications. Since joining Uptime Institute six years ago, she has provided key editorial and production management to client deliverables and publications, including Tier Standards, Technical Papers, and Accredited Tier Training curriculum. On an ongoing basis, she contributes content to a wide variety of Uptime Institute materials, in addition to being directly responsible for continuous improvement in corporate publishing standards. Prior to joining Uptime Institute, Mrs. Thomas worked for 10 years in all aspects of corporate communications. She is based in New Mexico.

Jeannette Beltran is Managing Content Editor for Uptime Institute, where she lends her editing skills to the website, blog and publications, and spends much of the year helping to plan and prepare for Uptime Institute Symposium. Previously, from 2007-2012, she worked as an editor for TechTarget’s portfolio of data center-related e-publications and websites, including

With this team in place, we will be revamping Uptime Institute’s longstanding publications portfolio, continuing the work we’re doing with our new print offering, The Uptime Institute Journal, and reorganizing our websites to make sure our audience has access to the full breadth of activities happening within Uptime Institute worldwide.

Stay tuned to our blog, but also check out our YouTube Channel, LinkedIn Group and Twitter Feed for the latest information regarding publications, events and news from Uptime Institute. We look forward to hearing from you, so please leave suggestions or ask questions in the comments section.


Posted by mstansberry on 07-08-2013
Categories: Uptime Institute News, Uptime Institute Publications and Research
Tags: , ,

Uptime Institute grieves the passing of Ken Brill


Last week, Uptime Institute sadly announced the passing of our founder, Ken Brill. I’d like to share some of the remembrances from Ken’s many friends from around the industry.


“I met Ken in 2006 during the first Uptime Institute Symposium and immediately he made a deep impression to me. I was surprised that a person which such name and status in the industry was that easily accessible. It was one of the first lessons I still remember,” wrote Lex Coors, Chief Engineering Officer at Interxion. “Ken over the years has not only been as a father to me, guiding me through the data center world, but he also deserves credit for a part of my career. Whenever he asked me what I wanted to get out of a meeting; I simply told him that I saw him as a big data center library from which I wanted to read all the books.”

“He single-handedly crafted an industry out of nothing,” said Mike Manos, chief technology officer at AOL, who had known Brill since the late 1990s. “He was the definer, he was the pioneer that identified something much bigger than himself. I don’t know too many people who actually defined an industry in their career, and I think that is going to be one of Ken’s lasting legacies.” (From ComputerWorld.)

“I saw Ken often at industry conferences, and we always had lively conversations about the data center industry – past, present and future. He was a rich source of perspective on the industry’s evolution and the ongoing effort to operate data centers more efficiently. He will be missed” (Rich Miller, Data Center Knowledge.)

Ken will be deeply missed. Please feel free to share your favorite Ken stories in the comments section








Posted by mstansberry on 06-08-2013
Categories: Uncategorized