I had dinner with a couple of senior data center executives who engineer and build datacenters for some of the top players in the industry. These guys are part of the data center industry that build the big data centers for the top players where the business must have large capacity and the best designs.
Part of the conversation was comparing data center conferences to go to. We were all at Gartner DC LV 2010.
Other conferences we agreed were good are DataCenterDynamics, 7X24 Exchange, and Uptime Symposium, SVLG DCEE. All of these conferences have more of a data center facilities focus whereas Gartner has little facilities discussion.
Gartner is different with a focus on data center operations from an IT perspective, not a facilities.
But, then I made the point that the big boys in data centers in general don't go to Gartner. The exception is the executives who attend for presentations and meet with clients. And, those who sell to the rest of the attendees
For example, Google sent two people who didn't look like they were from the data center group. Microsoft sent over a dozen, but again not from the data center group. No Facebook or Yahoo. No Twitter, Zynga, No AT&T. No Apple. A couple from Verizon Wireless, but again no data center group.
Who does intend in mass with 5 or more people?
Canada Dept of Defense
Royal Bank of Canada
Sandia National Labs
Southern CA Edison
Social Security Adminstration
US Dept of Defense
US Dept of Vet affairs
US Marine Corps
Lots of big fish. But not the whales of data center.
So is Gartner DC LV conference really the data center industry? Or those who look for Gartner for advice on data centers?
I run into many people I know in the industry at Gartner DC, but now that I think about it is the suppliers of the data center industry I run into at the event, not the end users I know who are the most innovative and biggest.
The end users I run into at DataCenterDynamics, Uptime, and 7X24 Exchange.
If you are hunting for the big whales in the data center industry Gartner is not the place to look, but there are still plenty of big fish. On the other hand, getting access to the right people is part of the challenge which is why the exhibit area is used so much.