“Data Centres need to talk to each other more to avoid the sort of outages that have hit Google and Microsoft in recent weeks.” So said Phil Turtle CCO of Data Centre Alliance – the not for profit Industry body. “The data centre industry is relatively young, yet these outages demonstrate just how utterly dependent in it we all our for our business and personal lives.
“Currently it exhibits too many ‘knowledge silos’ and an unnecessary fear of working together with competitors to share ‘best-practice’ – something mature industries find highly beneficial.
Many data centres do not have the resources of a Google or a Microsoft, yet as we have seen even with their massive technological resources these giants can have problems.
We commend more data centre operators, service providers, and individual data centre professionals to join the Data Centre Alliance and to share experiences and expertise with their peers – to ensure that the entire industry can learn from these outage events and share the knowledge for the benefit of data centre customers and service-users globally.
Working together allows the pooling of resources to establish and codify best practice – not only to avoid outages but also to increase power efficiency, and provide reliable comparative measurements (a level playing field) to enable customers to properly compare data centres when they are searching. All of these are initiatives on which the Data Centre Alliance (DCA) is currently working.
“How reliable a data centre is should be a ‘given’ and not a competitive edge, ‘ said Turtle. “There are many other factors on which to compete and the industry needs to share knowledge in the same way that other critical industries like nuclear and air-transport for the greater good.”
As part of the first ever Europe-funded research project, PEDCA, into the training and in-depth needs of the industry – there is a free entry-level Data Center Alliance membership available at http://turt.co/dca28
“We call on the whole industry to work together to reduce major outages for the good of the industry and the customers who rely so totally on us,” said Turtle.
DCA is also working on the skills shortage and recruitment difficulties faced by an industry largely staffed by professional in their fifties. Funded by two major data centre operators: Telecity and Telehouse plus training company CNet Training, DCA is currently running a pilot ten day intensive Boot Camp for graduates at the University of East London, to teach them the What? Why? and Where? of data centres and the all-important skill of ‘critical-thinking’.
It is then planned to roll-out these Boot Camps internationally with the help of the industry’s training community for the benefit of the entire industry.