What Data Center Conferences do I go to? 7x24 Exchange. Why that one?

My son Wyatt asked me what is a data center conference? It is a place where people in the industry get together to share their ideas about building and running data centers. Which ones do I go to? The one that I get the most out of.

I've gone to most of the data center conferences over the years. My favorite is 7x24 Exchange which occurs twice a year and the next one is on Oct 23-26, 2016 in Phoenix.

Below are some of the reasons why I am going. I doubt my son Wyatt will read this, but for those of you who live in the data center industry check it out.

This next one has a great lineup. Opening Keynote is former CEO of Travelocity Terry Jones. Don Beaty has a panel discussion

Don Beaty (bio)
DLB Associates Consulting Engineers, PC

Nicholas Franzoni (bio)
EP Supply Chain Performance Manager

Diraj Bamola (bio)
Vice President, Global Design & Construction

Joe Kava (bio)
VP of Data Centers

Daren Matthews (bio)
VP Supply Chain Planning
Schneider Electric

Jack Pouchet (bio)
VP Market Development
Emerson Network Power

2nd day keynote is with Chris Crosby

Keynote: Twin Sons of Different Mothers: Legacy and Bandwidth and Why

IDC estimates that 50% of existing data center networks cannot support IoT applications. Data center operators need to be developing and implementing their strategies to reduce latency and bandwidth to ensure they can support the escalating requirements driven by more attached devices and the volume and variety of packet sizes that characterize IoT and new large, rich packet applications. This presentation will explore the nature of latency and bandwidth issues, the shortcomings of today’s existing networks, and the solutions and equipment that data center operators need to incorporate into their network plans.

Chris Crosby (bio)
Compass Datacenters

And after that is another great panel hosted by Google's Heather Dooley.

Panel: Data Center Delivery & Operations

Organized by the 7x24 Exchange Women in Mission Critical Operations Committee (WiMCO)
Panelists will deliver a dynamic discussion sharing real work examples on how to be successful in your career while delivering on your core professional objectives. This panel will provide views from construction, operations and health and safety on current technical and business trends.

Heather Dooley (bio)
Data Center Business Operations
Google Data Centers
7x24 Exchange Women in Mission Critical Operations Committee (WiMCO)

Jenna Dumke (bio)
Project Manager, Critical Environment
Mark G. Anderson Consultants (MGAC)

Cindy Joos (bio)
Senior Director Global Operations

Marisa McGough (bio)
DPR Construction

Anita Tarab (bio)
Director of Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability


A new way to write a blog. Questions from my son and my answers

I lost the passion to write about data centers, but my son Wyatt has helped me think of a new way to write.  It has been so long, but I am looking forward to answers Wyatt's questions about data centers.

Part of what has motivated Wyatt is I told him he can keep the money from the Google Adsense I added to the website.

So what does Wyatt want to know? His questions are what convinced me to start writing.  Here are Wyatt's first set of questions.

how many servers are there?

how much data can be stored?

how many people will usually work there?

how many computers are there?

do they run 247?

how much stuff can go wrong?

How much money is it?

Warning for Creative Innovative Projects (humor)

It is standard for executives at big companies to say they want creative innovative projects. The call for innovation and creativity is rarely delivered. Why?

Creative innovative thinking causes unexpected impacts to the insecure.

WARNING: keep small children and insecure adults from disruptive innovation. The small kids will have fun while insecure adults will get mad at them for embracing change.
— Dave Ohara

The problem with innovation and creativity is the insecure people will react in irrational ways.

The DNA (values) of Facebook #5 of the Big 5

Facebook is the youngest of the Big 5 Internet Companies. Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon are all older. Facebook being the youngest has grown the fastest to be a presence in the data center industry. My earliest interaction with Facebook was through the Open Compute Project and over time I have made friends at Facebook and other friends have joined Facebook.

I have been diving into technical details like Facebook's social graph. the Graph API is one area.

Now I understand a bit more on how Facebook's Internet systems work and are designed.

Another question is how is Facebook different than the other 4 of the Big 5.

I had a chance to talk to some executives who have worked with Facebook for years and I presented this slide as part of what we think is the Facebook way.

One construction friend who I was chatting I shared my perspective. This video I used afterwards to let FB employees explain their vision of graph search.

The other big 5 I am more familiar with especially since I worked at two of them (Microsoft and Apple).

The Big 5 are Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook

Today the Big 5 Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook are now the largest market cap companies. Exxon Mobile is now #6.

These companies are making more investment in data centers than others. Are these 5 combined over 50% of the industry's capacity? If not now, when will they be.

Everyone in the information industry needs to keep an eye on this group. If not you may miss the changes that will make things more difficult for your business.  Or miss opportunities created by movements by the Big 5.