Years ago myself and many of my friends would get together at Uptime Institute's Symposium. Now I get together with those same friends and many others at 7x24 Exchange instead of Uptime Symposium. Over years and years of going to data center conferences I figured out what was best for me, but couldn't explain why. I'll go through some perspectives that you may agree or disagree with to help you choose what is best for you.
First, the title of the organizations. Uptime Institute. 7x24 Exchange. Uptime and 7x24 are different words to communicate availability. The difference is in the words Institute vs. Exchange.
Institute: an educational institution and especially one devoted to technical fields
Exchange: an occurrence in which people give things of similar value to each other : the act of giving or taking one thing in return for another thing
Uptime Institute is like an education data center authority. 7x24 Exchange is a place where people can receive and give information. Institute is where you are being lectured to. Exchange is where you interact with the attendees and discuss ideas. At the Institute the staff are like professors busy presenting and attending meetings. At the Exchange the staff are socializing, discussing ideas and collecting feedback.
If you go back to the start of the two organizations you can get a better idea of how they were set up. This document created by 7x24 Exchange in memorial of Ken Brill's contribution describes the history.
Ken Brill set up Uptime Institute as his company to be the authority in data center information (Uptime Institute) while another users group which became the 7x24 Exchange.
Uptime Institute Symposium says it is
The foremost conference for data center leaders and professionals presented by the Global Data Center Authority.
7x24 Exchange says
7x24 Exchange International, founded in 1989, is the leading knowledge exchange for those who design, build, operate and maintain mission-critical enterprise information infrastructures and the primary resource for valuable information within the mission critical industry. 7x24 Exchange's goal is to improve end-to-end reliability by promoting dialogue among these groups through conferences, membership, and the 7x24 Magazine.
Where are you? Are you looking for the Institute that lays claim to be the Global Data Center Authority? Or are you looking for where you can exchange information with your peers.
Over the past 10 years the data center innovation is coming from companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and others who are building Cloud Infrastructures. Do these companies present at 7x24 Exchange or Uptime Institute Symposium?
Myself I prefer 7x24 Exchange, and I speak my opinion which the 7x24 staff is supportive of. Speaking up and writing about conferences is probably what got me blacklisted from attending Uptime Symposium. http://www.greenm3.com/gdcblog/2014/5/16/uptime-symposiums-cancellation-of-my-expo-pass-confuses-when.html
No ones outages. Yet how many people think about the errors made. You know those times when you leave a burner on, ATM card in the machine, original in the copier. OK who goes to the copier any more like they used to. But, that doesn't mean you are making errors all the time. Running data center infrastructure is so full of potential procedural errors the disciplined have figured out they need to invest in detecting and reducing errors.
Here is a paper written in 1995 on Working Memory, the short term memory you use to do process the new and old information. http://chil.rice.edu/byrne/Pubs/git-cogsci-95-06.pdf
There are a type of people in the data center industry I gravitate more than others. One characteristic is those who have a "growth mindset" vs. "fixed mindset. I had posted on this topic before.
If you want more detail on the growth mindset here is a google talk.
if you want the polished quick pitch here is a TED talk.
Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012, then went dark. No new customers mentioned. Sales staff was let go. Now in August 2015 www.kivasystems.com will point to Amazon Robotics https://www.amazonrobotics.com/#/
A recruitment video is here. https://www.amazonrobotics.com/#/vision
Here are the current open positions. Sorry for the formatting, but too much time to clean this up. You get the idea of the hiring amazon is doing. https://www.amazonrobotics.com/#/careers#open
Google, Facebook, Apple, and so many of the other high tech companies with huge data centers have robotics efforts. A huge data center behind robotics makes so much sense.
- Open Positions Department Location Big Data Senior Technical Product ManagerSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MACommodity ManagerManufacturing JobsNorth Reading, MAEmbedded Systems EngineerHardware EngineeringNorth Reading, MAManufacturing Engineer-MechanicalManufacturing JobsNorth Reading, MAPrincipal Process Engineer and DesignerSolutions and Deployment EngineeringNorth Reading, MAPrincipal Software EngineerAdvanced Program TeamsNorth Reading, MAProcess Engineer – OperationsManufacturing JobsNorth Reading, MAQuality Engineering TechnicianManufacturing JobsNorth Reading, MARobotic Software Support EngineerGlobal Technology Operations (GTO)North Reading, MARobotics Deployment EngineerSolutions and Deployment EngineringNorth Reading, MAScalability Technical Program ManagerGlobal Technology Operations (GTO)North Reading, MASenior Embedded Engineer – Vision SystemsHardware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASenior Software Engineer on Movement TeamSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASimulation EngineerSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware Development EngineerSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware Development EngineerSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware Development EngineerSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware Development EngineerSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware Development Engineer in TestAdvanced Program TeamsNorth Reading, MASoftware Development Engineer, In TestSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware Development Manager - Configuration ManagementSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware EngineerSoftware EngineeringWestborough, MASoftware EngineerSoftware EngineeringWestborough, MASoftware EngineerSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware EngineerSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware Engineer –Schedule TeamSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MASoftware Engineer, StationAdvanced Program TeamsNorth Reading, MASoftware Engineer, Systems IntegrationAdvanced Program TeamsNorth Reading, MASoftware QA Automation ManagerSoftware QANorth Reading, MASolutions Analytics EngineerSolutions and Deployment EngineringNorth Reading, MATechnical Content ManagerGlobal Technology Operations (GTO)North Reading, MATechnical Program ManagerSoftware EngineeringNorth Reading, MA
Jim Smith and David Schirmacher have left Digital Realty Trust.
I would always chat with Jim and David when I saw them at data center events. Then, I thought about Chris Crosby another person I would enjoy chatting with left in 2011.
Then I thought of Mike Manos leaving Digital in 2010.
All four of these data center executives are tops in technical and operational skills to build and run data centers. When you go through the list of people Digital is hiring you don't see someone with these skills.
This is a mystery to me. As the largest data center provider you would think having the top data center talent is a priority. So what is the top priority for Digital? In the announcement of Jim and David leaving is the hiring of Chris Sharp from Equinix where he focused on the Cloud. But, some of the biggest tenants of Digital run some of the biggest Clouds. Does Digital want to compete against its Cloud customers? If youwant to build data centers specific for the Cloud you would keep the data center executives so its not that.
I don't have a clear answer to this mystery.