Conversations from Data Center World 2010 in Nashville

Since my teens I’ve frequented numerous technology shows including the NCC, Comdex, Windows World, Intertop and many others, though I’ve become somewhat picky over time. I don’t always continue to attend if I can’t extract enough benefit from the content. But one show I just attended—Data Center World 2010 which was held in Nashville — is definitely one I plan to revisit in the future. If you’re not a member of AFCOM, you may not have heard of Data Center World, so I thought I’d share a bit of the buzz and let you know what was on people’s minds.

While there were some great products and services offered in the Expo Hall, I was most impressed with the presentations and materials shared at the show (which included presentations from many of the vendors in a non-sales format). Some of the hot topics included:

  • Power Issues – These popped up in nearly every session.
    • New Government mandates such as U.S. Federal Executive Order 14423 – Government Agencies must reduce power consumption by 3% a year or 30% by 2015.
    • Many solutions were on display to help you manage or lower you power consumption.
    • Temperatures are rising in the Datacenter to cut power usage – Microsoft will not buy datacenter equipment that will not operate at 95 degrees.
    • PoE Plus is coming which will allow even more power hungry devices into the datacenter
    • Discussions took place regarding cabling benefits to accommodate higher heat.
  • Cloud Computing – Concerns over security and unintended consequences seemed to crop up in each discussion regarding these services.
    • A potential issue raised was “What if another user in the public cloud committed a crime and the entire system was taken off-line for chain of custody requirements linked to a criminal investigation?”
    • Multiple mentions of Gartner reports on ASP adoption in the 1990s were compared to the estimated adoption rates of public cloud services today.
    • Private cloud infrastructure performance and support requirements were discussed at length in future proofing sessions.
  • Cyber Terrorism – Certainly hot with many experts and users swapping stories and concerns.
    • Estimates were made that between 90-270k Chinese were being trained to steal secrets and maliciously attack systems by the Red Army. Of major concern were the tools and instruction now available.
    • Cyber attacks in the past were overwhelmingly linked to data theft. However, in the past year, malicious-only attacks accounted for 20% of the total reported.
    • Cloud environments were particularly grilled with numerous stories of issues already being reported.
    • Various devices and attacks were discussed at length.
  • Solutions Gaining Popularity
    • Flywheel solution and implementation are definitely gaining traction.
    • HVAC and Power in an outside container is definitely making a push, though there is more interest than adoption at this point.

If you attended AFCOM, what caught your attention? What’s your focus in the data center for 2010?

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