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.