2013 Data Center Survey Results, Symposium videos available

Posted by Jeannette Beltran | Posted in Uptime Institute Events, Uptime Institute Publications and Research, Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 14-08-2013

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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.

Deadline for Server Roundup approaching

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 25-02-2013

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The deadline for the second annual Uptime Institute Server Roundup is fast approaching. Deadline for submission of materials is 1 March 2013, and we already have a record breaking year of submissions.

The Uptime Institute Server Roundup contest was introduced in October 2011 to encourage the removal and recycling of comatose and obsolete IT equipment in an effort to decrease data center energy use. Last year’s first-place winner, AOL, rounded up close to 10,000 servers and saved over $5 million. NBC Universal took the prize for largest percentage of obsolete equipment, removing 29% (1,100 units ) from its server footprint.

Uptime Institute will recognize the winners at the 2013 Uptime Institute Symposium, and participant will present their experiences — the challenges and rewards of hunting down and rounding up obsolete and unused IT equipment.

Register for Symposium
this week, before early bird pricing expires Feb 28th.

Apply for the GEIT Awards and improve your career, your company, the planet!

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 20-12-2011

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Uptime Institute is now accepting applications for 2012 Green Enterprise IT Awards. The GEIT Awards recognize projects, ideas and products that significantly improve energy productivity and resource use in IT, data centers and beyond. The GEIT Awards are open to applicants in all countries and are judged by a committee of independent experts. In 2012, the Institute invites applications in 8 categories. Application deadline is February 3, 2012. Award winners for 2012 will be honored at the Uptime Institute Symposium in Santa Clara, CA, May 14-17, 2012.

Over the next few weeks we will profile some of last year’s winners, reflecting on how participation in GEIT impacted their careers and IT organizations.

Eric Swanson, Data Center Manager, at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

GEIT has definitely helped my organization. The process does take some time and effort, but my experience has been that it is well worth it. In my case it helped keep the focus on gathering metrics throughout the project, and routinely studying that data to understand where opportunities for further improvements might be. This was particularly true in our challenging environment, as we were operating in upper ASHRAE conditions with a lot of infrastructure challenges and IT load growth, pushing us beyond best practices.

The metrics, graphs and knowledge gained throughout the project are useful to this day. The application process also helped identify areas that we should have been tracking, for example, PUE and DCIE metrics.

The award has also helped my career. The Uptime Institute’s Green Enterprise IT award is open to the international community, and therefore shows others that you have been involved with something that is world-class. The symposium’s web site has a summary, presentation, and case study. This provides an excellent 3rd party reference to showcase the work done, and share the knowledge widely, which for me was the driving force for participating.

The experience of preparing and presenting at the Symposium was also very educational, as was being at the Symposium.

Also, pursuing green technology has returned on its investment. This project was part of a larger effort to extend data center IT load, mainly through low-cost methods that greatly improved efficiencies and lessened our environmental impact. In our case the payoff was immediate.

Download the case study here.

Apply for the GEIT Awards today!

Uptime Institute hires modular data center deployment expert Debbie Seidman

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-10-2011

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Uptime Institute Professional Services recently hired new Director of Technical Services, Debbie Seidman. She will be managing Uptime Institute’s delivery of Design and Facility Tier Certifications worldwide.

Seidman’s previous jobs include deploying modular data center products for HP, developing data center utility rebate programs with Xcel Energy, and over twenty years experience as a facility project manager and operations engineer.

Modular data center experience: Seidman’s role at HP was liaison between HP and customers, making sure the customer had the appropriate infrastructure in place before the Pod arrived. She also oversaw start-up, commissioning and turn-over processes.

Seidman said modular data centers (prefab units delivered on site) allow companies to roll out a staged deployment, a piece at a time. It’s quicker than traditional construction, and there can be cost advantages.

On the other hand, Seidman said brick and mortar data centers allow for more design flexibility, and that some geographic locations may have long term permit issues with regard to prefab structures for aesthetic reasons.

“I don’t think we’ll see the entire data center market going modular, Seidman said. “It’s adaptable, compact, and can be less expensive in upfront costs. But you can’t just plug these things in, you need to ensure the infrastructure is in place.”

At Xcel Energy, Seidman was responsible for driving data center adoption of demand-side energy efficiency rebates. One of the objectives of the program was to drive cooperation between facilities and IT departments.

Energy efficient IT equipment, efficient server power supplies, server virtualization software, or energy efficient UPS systems all cost more money upfront. Seidman said there is a payback over time, but companies don’t always analyze the total cost of ownership. So utilities step in to encourage implementing more efficient equipment.

“Energy efficient rebate money is available, it’s up to the owners to pursue it,” Seidman said. “Data center operators are risk averse people, and trying something new takes additional time and work. A rebate can bring the costs down, but it takes more effort than a standard design. But people should know about their utility’s rebate programs. It’s available to them as a rate payer.”

Uptime Institute is proud to welcome Debbie Seidman to the team.

Google data center manager offers tips for improving PUE

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 17-06-2011

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In this short video from Uptime Institute Symposium 2011, Chris Malone (Thermal Technologies Architect at Google) discusses the key data center best practices Google uses to drive high energy efficiency, and how to adopt those best practices to improve your own data center’s PUE.

Fix cooling first, it’s the biggest term in your PUE overhead and offers the biggest opportunity for improvement. Do that by managing air flow — separating hot and cold streams. Raise the temperature of the air coming into the rack to make it easier to use economizers.

Second, optimize power distribution scheme by minimizing conversions and using efficient UPS solutions.

Third, measure and improve. Google is currently reporting a 1.16 PUE, and the organization got there by measuring and constantly trying to improve. The typical enterprise data center is likely at a PUE around 2.0, which offers lots of room for improvement.

“These best practices are so simple that everybody should employ them and see good results,” Malone said.