Flash storage poised to disrupt your data center

Posted by Jeannette Beltran | Posted in 451 Research, Uptime Institute Events, Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 05-09-2013

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This blog is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting keynote presentations from Uptime Institute Symposium 2013.

Flash storage – it’s the emerging technology with the most potential to seriously disrupt your data center, according to a keynote presentation delivered at Uptime Institute Symposium 2013. Flash storage is very low on power and space utilization, and is 10 times faster than the fastest disk. And though the current price is cost-prohibitive for many organizations, that’s expected to change. According to 451 Research’s Andy Lawrence, within three to five years, the price of flash storage should be on par with that of the fastest disk storage. “You should be preparing for flash in your data centers,” Lawrence said in his keynote, “The Disrupted Data Center: Ten Technologies That Might Change Data Centers Forever.”

When Lawrence and his team at 451 Research set out to determine which technologies may disrupt the data center industry, they focused on what will likely have an impact in the next five to 20 years, and based their analysis on three metrics:

- How big will the impact be?
- How fast will it happen?
- How likely is it to happen?

So why should we be concerned with the technologies that might be disruptive 10, 15 years from now? Because research shows that half of data center costs are invested up-front – so failing to prepare for a future disruptive technology can turn into a major liability down the road.

In addition to flash storage, Lawrence covers nine other technologies with the potential to make waves in the industry, including advanced DCIM, cloud-level resiliency and chiller-free data centers. And even if your organization hasn’t seen much change yet, doesn’t mean it’s not coming. The data center IS already being disrupted, Lawrence said.

This means that “capacity planning is absolutely critical” for the entire digital infrastructure, according to Lawrence, especially if you want stay competitive with cloud providers and the economies of scale they’re able to provide. In the data center industry it’s easy to stay focused on the infrastructure level, but organizations need to begin assessing these key technologies now.

Click here for more information on 451 Research’s Data Center Technologies team, and access to reports.

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.

Top ten reasons to attend Uptime Institute Symposium 2013

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 02-04-2013

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I have attended every single Symposium, since Ken Brill hosted the first one in the Orlando Airport Hyatt so many years ago, and I can tell you each one is different, and each one records a seminal moment for our industry.

I haven’t’ missed a single opportunity to learn and participate in the most important event of the year, and neither should you.

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Listed below, please find the top ten reasons to join us at Uptime Institute Symposium 2013:

1. Make better decisions about cloud and colo providers: The vast majority of enterprise data center operators today also deploy some portion of their IT operations in a third-party facility, with either a cloud or coloction provider. The sessions at Uptime Institute Symposium will help you become a smarter customer of third-party data center services, and will give you the tools to perform due diligence, to make smart investments.

Symposium features an entire track on this topic, staffed by industry luminaries, senior level end-user executives and Uptime Institute experts. If your organization relies on third-party data center services, you cannot afford to miss these sessions.

If your organization provides colo and cloud services – you need to attend to understand how your value and performance will be evaluated going forward.

2. You will not find a better discussion of DCIM anywhere: Andy Lawrence and his team from 451 Research’s Data Center Technologies practice are the industry’s foremost experts on Data Center Infrastructure Management Software. Our experts will provide you with the latest DCIM adoption statistics, pricing information, buying advice, and projections for future technology development. We are hosting a panel of senior end-user execs to discuss the pain points and benefits of DCIM implementation (so be sure to stick around for Thursday!). And we are partnered with the leading DCIM vendors as underwriters, who will be presenting their latest technologies, touting new customers and projecting their product roadmaps at Symposium.

3. Giant cowboy hats and cowboy boot beer mugs: Server Roundup is back! Uptime Institute’s second annual contest to remove obsolete server hardware and improve data center energy efficiency has been a huge success. We’ve doubled the amount of servers removed over last year, as well as the number of participants and winners. This year we will feature a keynote panel with all of the winners and finalists, as well as our Server Roundup underwriter at Symposium, Samsung. The 2013 Server Roundup awards promises to be more fun than your average technology conference snooze-fest – these networking receptions just get a little livelier when everybody is wearing a ten gallon hat and drinking out of a boot.

Close deals! Make new friends! Annoy your family with a giant foam hat! Yeehaw.

But in all seriousness, you will learn something from our Server Roundup winners and finalists that will more than pay for your travel costs to this event.

4. Would you fail the Crisis of Facilities Management Pop Quiz? Building a data center is one of the most expensive investments a company can make. And yet, staffing and operational standards are often given short shrift when compared to the planning and diligence dedicated to the site’s design and engineering. Uptime Institute Symposium features an entire track dedicated to the data center operations professional, with expert presentations on how to manage your organization’s most vital asset. Uptime Institute will draw from field analysis of the successes and failures of its clients and members to provide guidance and real-world experience on the core elements of a successful and enduring facilities management program.

Are you confident in your Facilities team’s capability to manage a technologically advanced and highly efficient design to your 24 x 7 uptime 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? Attend Uptime Institute Symposium to help get the right answers to these questions.

5. The only data center industry event with a global perspective: Uptime Institute has awarded Tier Certifications in 38 different countries. Our Accredited Tier Designers (ATD) and Accredited Tier Specialists alumni represent 60 different countries. Uptime Institute Networks are currently growing in Brasil, Asia Pacific, and EMEA as well as the established North American Networks. We have offices in London, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Taipei and Singapore. Our experts are delivering data center consulting services to the largest IT organizations around the world. We are hosting speakers from Moscow, Western Europe and Brazil.

6. The data center industry’s most elite networking event: Symposium is a worthwhile investment in your professional development and your company’s success. Data center managers from Fortune 500 companies, large financial firms, and the colocation space will be presenting on the top issues facing their organizations today. We are hosting a meeting for all ATD alumni, representing the industry’s leading data center designers and engineers. Uptime Institute Network Members from four continents will spend three days learning and sharing experiences. And the most senior executives from the biggest vendors will be on hand to present and answer your questions. You owe it to yourself — make Symposium a priority.

7. The killer keynotes: The data center conference circuit can seem a lot like the movie Groundhog Day. You see the same people, talking about the same stuff, year after year. Not at Symposium.
The invited keynote lineup for 2013 includes Twitter’s Anoop Mavath, discussing for the first time, Twitter’s data center strategy. Find out how Twitter has deployed data center infrastructure to keep pace with the constraints and changing demands of managing one of the most dynamic workloads on the Web.

The last time we saw Christian Belady, he was a mad scientist putting servers in tents, developing metrics that would take over the industry, and challenging our assumptions. Recently, Microsoft’s General Manager of Data Center Services has kept his head down, busy executing the deployment of Microsoft’s massive global cloud footprint. At Symposium Christian will share what he’s learned, including the latest trends that may impact your data centers: Cloud-optimized servers, fail-in-place and self-healing IT, and a shift to OpEx-driven accounting.

Finally, Alexander Martynyuk will provide an overview of how Russia is building its national cloud computing platform. Rostelecom, Russia’s largest national telecommunications operator, launched a project in 2011 to develop a national cloud computing platform. The success of any data center build out is defined by how efficient the collaboration is between various project teams. Rostelecom’s Senior Project Director Alexander Martynyuk will discuss how his organization is meeting priorities, deadlines and budget on this complex project.

8. Stop guessing – use data: The sessions at Uptime Institute Symposium are largely based on quantitative peer data, collected from the largest and most critical data center operations around the globe. From the opening session, featuring the results of the 2013 Industry Survey, to the annual data center density study, and the Hurricane Sandy lessons learned report, you will have access to the most up-to-date and accurate industry data available.

9. 2013 Green Enterprise IT Award Winners: The 2013 Green Enterprise IT (GEIT) Awards recognize pioneering advancements for that significantly improve energy productivity and resource use in IT. The 2013 class of honorees includes 28 organizations associated with 19 case studies and spans 8 countries.
“This year’s’ entries have included an impressive mix from unique innovations to excellent project executions, and as always the rigorous and scientific process which that we go through at the GEIT Awards has allowed us to pick the very best from an outstanding collection of entries,” said Martin Bradley, GEIT Awards Judge and Head of European Data Centre Engineering and Operations, Morgan Stanley.

The GEIT Award winners’ case-study presentations are scheduled throughout the event.

10. Unmatched experience and expertise: Join Uptime Institute Founder Ken Brill, Chief Technology Officer Vince Renaud, Executive Director Emeritus Pitt Turner, and Managing Principal, Research and Education Hank Seader for perspective and guidance from decades in the data center industry.

I sincerely hope to see you at this event, and look forward to catching up in May.

-Matt Stansberry

Symposium: Tightly Focused and Data-Driven

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 15-02-2013

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This guest post is written by Kevin Heslin, former editor of Mission Critical Magazine and now a Research Manager with 451 Group.

Last February, I was planning my travel schedule and needing to make sure I got good value for each trip I made. It’s an annual exercise, during which I think through cost versus value of the various data center industry events.

I couldn’t go everywhere. Always, though, The Uptime Institute’s Annual Symposium was a top priority, as an excellent place for me to network, talk shop, and learn about new trends in data center design and operations.

Now that I am working at 451 Research and helping plan Symposium, I am learning a lot more about the organization that makes the Symposium so special.

Uptime Institute is dedicated to making the event a learning experience, and using the critical mass of Symposium to move the industry forward.

The subject matter experts and end users who present at Symposium engage in a two-way dialog, so that everyone returns home with a list of action items to improve energy efficiency and reliability in their facilities.

I am also learning that Uptime Institute and 451 Research activities are data driven to a much greater extent than I expected.

2013 Data Center Industry Survey: Uptime Institute’s Matt Stansberry unveils the latest results of the Uptime Institute’s annual survey, the most comprehensive overview of the state of the data center industry today.

Ten Technologies That Might Change Data Centers Forever: Andy Lawrence, 451 Research VP, presents a year’s worth of original research on new and emerging data center technologies.

Private Cloud Deployment: According to 451 Research’s Ken Male, 41% of Global 2000 Enterprises identified Internal Cloud as top project in 2013, and 35% of these organizations described IaaS as part of their near-term plans, in pilot, or already part of their current IT operations. This new data suggest that a strong move to hybrid cloud is underway.

2013 Data Center Density Study: Uptime Institute’s Matt Mescall shares the results of the 2013 Uptime Institute Data Center Density Study, a reliable guide that data center owners and operators can use to forecast IT loads.

These are just a few of the sessions scheduled for this year’s Symposium agenda. The full schedule is now posted online, and I recommend you take this opportunity to check out the lineup for this year.

I encourage you to attend Uptime Institute Symposium, and look forward to seeing you this May in Santa Clara, Calif. Sign up through February 28th to receive early bird pricing, $400 savings.

Twitter’s Data Center Evolution at Uptime Institute Symposium

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 11-01-2013

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This year at Uptime Institute Symposium, we are excited to announce Anoop Mavath, Director, Global Data Center Services at Twitter, will deliver a keynote on the social media giant’s data center evolution.

Mavath will discuss how his company has deployed data center infrastructure to keep pace with the constraints and changing demands of managing one of the most dynamic workloads on the Web. Mavath will discuss design specifications, financing models, vendor management, dynamic growth, geographic presence, energy efficiency and his company’s green programs.

Read more about the speakers, sessions and tracks for Uptime Institute Symposium 2013: The Global Digital Infrastructure Evolution.

If you’re interested Twitter’s data center operations and IT strategy, you have to check out the Twitter Engineering blog, which explains how the company is adjusting real-time to global IT challenges.