Markley Group at Data Center World, Las Vegas: Event Recap

Posted on May 27, 2014 by Paul Andrews

By Chris McLean

It’s conference season! A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to attend Afcom’s Data Center World in Las Vegas. To make the most of the opportunity, I presented on Capacity Planning to a room filled with industry peers from the world over. The presentation went well enough, but learning about new projects and solutions really made the trip worthwhile. Here are my takeaways:

Sounds like China is in need of a few data centers. Some great statistics were flying around about the density of US data centers and how reliant the global user base is on the infrastructure we design and build. Maybe we can get Data Center on the docket for the next Olympics as we’re a shoe in for gold! Until then maybe, there is a One Summer Street in Beijing waiting for the Markley Group.

HVAC solutions were heavily represented with software and modeling approaches all the way to chip-level cooling. The Asetek booth was worth the trip to Vegas alone. A hybrid rack / chilled water manifold and 90+% heat capture at the heat sink level…yeah, it’s that cool. In row cooling and DCIM seem to be growing trends. Used to be about three to five players for either solution, and now dozens. Supply is good, but is demand?

Future Facilities and CoolSim are worth noting. Future Facilities ACE approach is interesting, and dumbs down demand management and performance gaps to a triangle. The living CFD software is compelling too, but I would like it to help with predictive failure more than predictive DCIM. DCIM is great for enterprise, but maybe not so great for colocation yet. Any way to tie this to a simple payback would start to make me a cheerleader. CoolSim is a much more blue collar approach, but really helps validate design before you spin the first wrench.

Universal Electric has a great pitch for a direct current data center and their bus product is a great solution. I haven’t seen a huge need for DC in our colocation offering, but we would love the challenge. Glad to know there is bus for it, but PDUs and servers are lagging to make it much of a reality.

I was surprised to see a few presentations on how to select or locate a new facility, be it colocation or not. Maybe I’m a little biased, but, please, don’t build your own data center. Let people like us build your data center. If you need a presentation on how and where to do it, you shouldn’t be thinking of doing it.

Two weeks until Data Centers East by IMN. Hope to see you there!