7x24 Exchange's Tribute to David Schirmacher

7x24 Exchange honored the memory of David Schirmacher with a tribute which we can see on a video on this page.

I was lucky to meet David and have many long, long conversations over the years. When David was with FieldView he had a lot more time. When he joined Digital Realty Trust, the times I would connect with him would reduce down to seeing him at 7x24 Exchange. To have quality conversations I started to stay past the last presentations and go to the pool after the conference where David and I would grab a burger and catch up. The nice thing talking to him even though months had gone by we would jump immediately into tough issues.

We covered a wide range of topics. The current state of the data center industry. Various technologies for the data center buildings and the equipment in it. And lots of conversations about the people in the industry. Before David joined Digital Realty Trust he wanted my opinion on the job and what it would be like. David knew I am close to Mike Manos and his time at Digital Realty is a good set of data to work with in making a decision.

One of David’s best insights that gets lots of laughs is when he talked about a given data center executive who spoke about his efforts, his industry initiatives, his team, etc., and etc. Then David said it, “Oh my god, that’s it. He is the Donald Trump of Data Centers. A self-promoter.” David said this over 5 years ago and when ever I tell this story it gets a good laugh.

In our many conversations we came up with idea of taking a group of West Coast data center executives and visiting a group of the financial data center executives in NYC. People who all too often are not at the conferences, but data centers are very much part of their business. Touring data centers for some of the financials and exchanges was a very different world. One of the interesting points is how quiet it was. Quiet in terms of activity, not the noise. In a Cloud data center you would see lots of gear ready to be deployed, repairs and upgrades, and new areas for expansion. At the New York data centers it was clean and low activity. It was a different world and it was good to connect the different perspectives.

As Bob said in the tribute video on this page. David would always be at the conferences with his wife Veronica and both would be all smiles. It is hard to accept David is gone from the 7x24 Exchange events. He touched so many people there and he was always energized. I’ll miss that smile and the laughs.


Women in Cloud event at Microsoft Campus building 33, Jan 26, 2019

There is a Women in Cloud event on Jan 26, 2019 at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond.

Tickets are $99-200 and you can find more information here.

It is great to see this event by put together for its first time.

7 years ago I moderated a panel discussion with some top people in capacity planning and asset management which happened to be all women and it has been great to see more and more organizations support Women in the data center industry.

I hope this event is the first of many more to come. Best of luck to the event organizers.

Rich Karlgaard 7x24 Opening Keynote

Rich Karlgaard, Forbes publisher had a talk called Technology and 2018 Turbulence

When Rich walked on stage the title had change to “Thriving in the Age of Smart Machines. How to build an unstoppable amidst unstoppable technology acceleration and change.”


I was busy taking note and found this article which summarizes Rich’s talk given to GM. https://www.hydrocarbonprocessing.com/news/2018/03/technology-adaptability-are-key-to-keeping-us-industry-on-top


What got funny was when Rich used the decline of GM talking about the corvette to the Cadillac Cimarron when the company was running from a financial aspect.


Contrast being a numbers person at GM vs. Jeff Bezos who has a two pizza number for how big a team should be. 

Rich added the following slide for the data center audience discussing the importance of talent.

What I took from this slide is how important math skills are to work in technology companies. If you are interested in the rest of the presentation you can read this post on the GM presentation. https://www.hydrocarbonprocessing.com/news/2018/03/technology-adaptability-are-key-to-keeping-us-industry-on-top


A peak at David Schirmacher's keynote at Fall 7x24 Exchange

David Schirmacher is going to present the 7x24 Exchange keynote on Tuesday, Oct 23 2018. One of the things I am doing for a change is reaching out to a few of speakers at 7x24 Exchange and chatting before hand about what they plan to present. My first post is with David Schirmacher.

David I chatted a bit. We actually talked a lot. We chatted for over 2 hours, and we are going to chat again. So how do I summarize 2 hours of discussion into a blog post?

The most recognized data center metric is PUE. Why don’t we have more metrics? There have been attempts by some industry organizations. Even though DCIM systems have been built by a wide range of companies bragging about customers, why don’t they have amazing insights backed by petabytes of data into new data center performance indicators that are the new KPI every says they are using?

PUE was invented by Chris Malone (currently at Google) and Christian Belady (currently at Microsoft) when they were both at HP. Here is a nice presentation on the history by Henry Coles from Mar 19, 2014.

If you want the original paper you can get it on the ASME site.

Metrics and an Infrastructure Model to Evaluate Data Center Efficiency
Christian L. Belady and Christopher G. Malone
This work describes two data center efficiency metrics: Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Compute Power Efficiency (CPE). PUE characterizes the fraction of the total data center power used for IT work. CPE characterizes the overall data center efficiency, considering IT equipment utilization as well as how power is used in the data center. The PUE results from three data center studies are presented here. The data suggests that a carefully designed and managed data center has a PUE of 2.0. More studies are required to determine the range of values for the typical data center. A data center infrastructure and energy cost model is presented to compare hardware costs to infrastructure and energy costs. The impact of PUE on these costs is examined to illustrate the impact of data center efficiency on the total cost of operating a data center.
— http://proceedings.asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/proceeding.aspx?articleid=1595398

I know David Schirmacher is passionate about metrics and he has regularly been reviewing his keynote presentation. What occurred to me is what few know is David‘s background. David worked at JLL and Compass Management running an operations team which of course needed metrics. Next David spent 12 years at Goldmans Sachs as Global Head of Engineering and Critical Systems. During that time there David realized he needed software to support the use of metrics. David then joined FieldView Solutions to build a system for metrics. Digital Realty recruited David to be SVP of Operations, and he realized quickly he needed a system for metrics, and he built another system that would work for Digital’s need.

In Summary, David has spent over 30 years in data center jobs where he developed his own metrics for operations, and he built two different systems for metrics. How many other people do you know have that experience and perspective? Not many. Which is why when we chat our conversations all too often turn into 2 hour discussions. The nice thing is David has been working on his keynote to make sure he gets the ideas clearly communicated with enough time for questions in the 9:00-10:00a time slot.

Metrics come from passionate people like Chris Malone and Christian Belady. David Schirmacher is another one of those people.

Unleashing the Metrics of Cost and Performance

David Schirmacher (bio)
President, Reset Advisors, LLC and
President, 7×24 Exchange International

Many billions of dollars a year are spent in the design, construction and operation of mission critical data centers. For an industry that supports the core of the global business economy and impacts the lives of virtually everyone on the planet, it is hard to believe that so little of what we do is driven by a common set of measurable metrics. The introduction of the PUE metric in 2006 was a major leap in beginning to define performance but it only addresses one slice of a very large pie. Numerous metrics have followed but none have achieved the same almost universal acceptance. In this presentation, David will discuss some of the historical challenges to metrics adoption and will take a deeper dive into the measurement of cost and performance and the tools that leading edge firms use to validate their performance.
— https://conferences.7x24exchange.org/fall2018/schedule/