DCN September 2017 - Page 17

meet me room How would you encourage a school leaver to get involved in your industry? What are their options? Interestingly, I sat on a panel at a data centre event in Manchester recently and we discussed the very subject. It is difficult in our area of expertise as we are way behind the recruitment curve and have to compete with the ‘sexy’ parts of the technology industry such as gaming and cyber. At the moment my advice would be google ‘data centre careers’ and see what the big companies are up to. Personally, I think that we can do a lot more. We already have a number of degree courses and the dialogue has started around the idea of creating apprenticeships which is a very good thing. However, I still think that as an industry we can and should do more and it is something that I’m trying to be actively involved in so watch this space. In addition to earning a living, how else has your career created value in your life? Despite being constantly astounded by innovative, ground-breaking technology within our sector, quite simply, it’s the people. I’ve been lucky enough to have met some wonderful people over the years from all walks of data centre life. We are fortunate in that our industry demands intelligent, interesting, imaginative and creative individuals and I have had the opportunity and the pleasure of engaging with quite a lot of them during my relatively short time (12 years) in the IT industry. Relationships are important to me and I spend quite a bit of my time maintaining them. As well as that my career has given me some wonderful memories. What, in your opinion, is the most important aspect of a successful data centre (e.g. security, energy efficiency?) Tough question. I think, with my ITIL hat on, that the answer has to be the move from data centre management to a more all-embracing data centre service management with DCIM at its core. To have a holistic view of the estate and have real-time management information and analytics on how the interconnected elements of the data centre are running is a very powerful thing where efficiency savings on power, space and cooling are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s tough to implement DCIM but there is so much to be gained from putting the effort in. Let’s face it, in our world of now, data centres are at the heart of practically everything we do. Think of the strides we have made in making vehicles more efficient and eco- friendly through analytics. Why not data centres? What are the biggest changes you have seen in the data centre industry? In a nutshell? Scale x nn! One of the data centres I operate is 10,000m 2 in size. Not very big by today’s standards but very big back when it was designed in the mid-nineties and bigger by almost 2,000m 2 than Microsoft’s first data centre built in 1989. Super-compute marches on and has moved from giga-flops, beyond, tera-flops and the race is on for exascale. You can also throw Quantum computing in the mix which is Move aside Attenborough. A missed calling perhaps? September 2017 | 17