Thursday, October 26, 2006

Putting My Gartner Hat On

It's back! It's back! Everyone seems to be exclaiming the return of a boom for the data center industry. has a nice article on the subject as well as a brief one at Nicholas Carr's blog.

My inbox is flooded with stories of companies expanding, building new data centers and record growth. On top of this there have been many stories on how there is a shortage of generators due to so many new facilities being built. Waiting periods of up to a year!!

I am by no means an expert, but here is my take on all of this. We have a record number of "small" companies building data centers that are either the right size for them or all that they can afford to build. Meanwhile the guys that really know how to do this (HP, Google) are not necessarily building 'more' data centers, but consolidating into a smaller number of HUGE data centers. Combine this with virtualization really catching on and automation helping out the "lights-out data center" and I really think we'll see all of these small data centers moving into mammoth mega-data centers in the next 5-10 years. With real estate and power being such big factors, I just think that economies of scale will come in to play and make it more economical for the mega centers to flourish over the small ones. Servers are becoming more and more hands off and it really won't matter where they are as long as you have good bandwidth and remote administration tools.

With journalists reporting on another 'bubble' in the industry happening and having lived through the last bubble I tend to get cautious with so much development going on. A sound business plan and the ability to adapt to fast-paced changes is crucial to survival.

Monday, October 23, 2006

DC Consolidation

Here is another story of Data Center consolidation. The state of New York is consolidating four data centers into one at the SUNY institute of technology. 75,000 square feet, 27 state agencies and 3 years to build.

They call it state of the art to accomodate for future needs. The strange thing to me, considering that many square feet is that it is raised floor!

Guess there is no second guessing the location selection here. :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Data Center Outsourcing

Just a quick link to a story I liked on staffing a data center. I struggle with non-business hours staffing and find it a hard one to fill and manage. The article mentions Lee Technologies. I spoke with Lee Technologies at Data Center World and found them to be a pretty interesting company. I like the fact that they quickly place personnel to manage your infrastructure and if they don't work out you simply tell them and they pull the individual immediately. The company does many other cool things as well and have an impressive client list.

The links:

Lee Technologies article

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cardinls Win Tonight!!

I apologize for the off-topic post, but just have to say that the St. Louis Cardinals will beat the pants off the Mets tonight and then take the Tigers in 7 next!

Of course I may have to discover the "delete post" function in if not. :)

Go CARDINALS!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

DC in a Box

The press was all over Sun's "data center in a box" announcement. Here is a quick run down:
Data Center Knowledge
Seattle Pi
Information Week

I won't link NY Times because I absolutely hate their free user login stuff.

I really don't get this play by Sun. I suppose I can see a few applications like the oil rig in the middle of the ocean and others where a quick drop of massive computing power might help. Overall though I just don't see people biting on this. If you want quick computing power and don't want to build your own facility -- OUTSOURCE to a colo! They have the facility covered and some quick financing with your vendor of choice(s) .... not 'just' Sun and you are off and running.

I also don't understand the "park the container in the parking garage" mentality. Who has fiber run to their parking spot?! Another thing I found interesting is that there wasn't mention of using it as a disaster recovery possibility? Sell it without the Sun servers and let companies quickly rent/lease one when it is needed for DR.

I like Sun Servers....I like the whole energy efficiency thing...I'm just not sold on this idea.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

TWiT and The Planet

I just had to post a link to this story for two reasons: I LOVE the network and it's a story of how The Planet (a semi-competitor to where I work) messed up. :)
Leo - if you want to host at a real data center just let me know.

Location, Location, Location

Ok -- no, I'm not writing about Data Center site selection again. Cooling and equipment placement within a data center room has been of recent interest to me. This article at Data Center Journal was a good one on real estate within the room. Check it out!

Monday, October 09, 2006


After attending Data Center World I came away feeling that practically everyone worked for a corporate data center that was run by the company. There was a Target presentation about a finely tuned center with awesome policies and procedures. There was a presentation about how the state of Oregon consolidated all of their data centers into one. I do however, also see a fair number of companies that stick to the "do what we do best and outsource the rest" mentality.

Two examples I ran across recently of keeping things in house, were Workstream opening a new data center and liquid web hosting opening a second data center.

Looking through some of my old bookmarks I found this article that gives a lot of good statistics about outsourcing. I am still a strong believer in outsourcing what your company does not excel in. Many take it to the extreme of outsourcing everything that is not the core business of the company. As with most things I suppose it is just a mix of working with what you have, beliefs of management of the company and timing. I have worked with another company recently that did outsource a number of things and for whatever reasons they hired a new CIO and had him start bringing everything back in house.

I think in the end it is just a numbers game and proving to the board of directors what you believe works best and ROI.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Forget the East & West Coast

Continuing my curiosity for why companies select various locations for their data center, here is a good article on why Chicago is an equal if not better place than the primary spots on either coast.

LA has One Wilshire, Florida has Peak10 and the NorthEast coast is littered with hot spots. I think all of these facilites have amazing bandwidth, carriers and security; so you would hope that the companies that offer better customer service and accomodations would win out. I (for one) am just glad to see the Midwest talked up so nicely. A look at any map of the U.S. that outlines natural disasters and I wonder why anyone would locate on either of the coasts.

Disclaimer: if not already very apparent, I am from and still live in the Midwest. :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

M&A Mania

Like any other industry it seems there has been a lot of mergers and acquisitions going on. Today Quality Technology Services announced that they have acquired the hosting operations of Globix. Data Center Knowledge has an excellent write up on other Quality Technology Services activities here.

Also in the news, just yesterday, Digital Realty acquired the AboveNet data centers. Again, DC Knowledge has a write up on the details here.

Once again.... "if" anyone is actually reading this blog I'm interested in what you think the next acquisition or merger will be in the colo space. I'm thinking that some of the intermediate players out there will start acquiring smaller operations in order to compete on the same level as an Equinix type of company. What do you think?