Do people think about how the data center bulding shapes the Internet Services and its team?

Winston Churchill is know for a well known quote.

In October 1943, following the destruction of the Commons Chamber by incendiary bombs during the Blitz, the Commons debated the question of rebuilding the chamber. With Winston Churchill’s approval, they agreed to retain its adversarial rectangular pattern instead changing to a semi-circular or horse-shoe design favoured by some legislative assemblies. Churchill insisted that the shape of the old Chamber was responsible for the two-party system which is the essence of British parliamentary democracy: ‘we shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.’

Data Centers look like warehouses from the outside.  Their efficient and over time determined as the lowest cost way to house the equipment for Internet Services.  Just like any other commercial building design.

Like Winston Churchill says "we shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us."

What happens if you are focused on a creative collaborative team who would run a data center. Should the data center be designed differently?

An example of different is Pixar's headquarters covered by Buzzfeed.

The beating heart of the campus — and of Pixar itself — is the two-story Steve Jobs Building that provides a tremendous 218,000 square feet of space for roughly 700 people to work, eat, and play. The name is not just an honorific to the late Jobs, who bought the company from LucasArts in 1986 and served as its Chairman and then CEO until it was purchased by Disney in 2006. In a very real sense, the building is Steve Jobs.

“Since Steve didn’t actually make our movies, the building itself became his project,” says company President Ed Catmull, one of Pixar’s co-founders with John Lasetter. “This is the only building that Steve ever designed and built and carried through [with finishing] it.”

How many data centers look all the same? Data halls, electrical rooms, mechanical rooms, and last the office space.



Digital Realty's David Schirmacher now SVP of Design and Contruction after 3 years of running operations

I had heard that Digital Realty's David Schirmacher had a new role as SVP of Design and Construction last week and was waiting for public disclosure. David has updated his LinkedIn profile.

Senior Vice President, Design and Construction
Digital Realty
January 2015 – Present (2 months)Greater New York City Area
Digital RealtySenior Vice President, Operations
Digital Realty
January 2012 – Present (3 years 2 months)Greater New York City Area

Before David joined Digital we had many long conversations about the data center industry.  We now have much fewer, but our conversations had lasting value and it is a good move for David and Digital.  David used to run Design and Construction at Goldman Sachs so this is not a new role for him.

VP, Global Head of Engineering and Critical Systems
Goldman Sachs
November 1998 – April 2010 (11 years 6 months)

There are many ideas in my head of how Digital could be changing how it designs, constructs and operates its data centers, and I have a feeling it is going to be based on some of the ideas David and I used to talk about.



Peaking behind the Scenes of Failed The Data Centers LLC

Sometimes you can learn from mistakes. If you are an engineer, so much of what you know works is from the things that didn't.  Delawarenonline reports on the suit filed between executives at The Data Centers LLC.

Five months after the hotly debated development was shelved, the former president of The Data Centers LLC in West Chester, Pa., is lashing out against the company’s chief executive, Earl Eugene “Gene” Kern, saying Kern froze him out of business affairs then ran up millions of dollars in debt the company had no ability to pay.

Robert Krizman, a well-known technical expert, alleges Kern wooed him away from an executive job at a major company with promises Krizman would be president of a company developing the data storage and management center, according to court papers. The two became members in the limited liability company with Kern having a larger ownership interest, the complaint says.

Some of the vendors have unpaid invoices.

Two companies have filed lawsuits for unpaid invoices totaling $1.3 million, plus interest, costs and attorneys’ fees. Duffield Associates engineering firm has sued the company for $619,000 debt, while Constructure Management Inc. construction management firm has sued for more than $772,000 in unpaid invoices, according to legal documents.

WSJ has nice graphic of Big DC Players in a Range of US States

WSJ has a post on tax incentives for Facebook in Iowa, but the coolest thing is this graphic showing data centers in a range of states which supports the story on state tax incentives.

This quote captures one of the main reasons why states compete for the big players to build.

‘There is a certain ‘wow’ factor when people say you’ve got Google, Microsoft and Facebook.’
—Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority