Stephen Worn, DatacenterDynamics's CTO took on the role of rabble rouser at the group's most recent event in Chicago. His act was so outrageous, so beyond global-warming skepticism, that I asked him when he had become so fervently anti-green. It was a bit like witnessing Patrick Moore dissociate from Greenpeace's position on nuclear energy. His cause? Alerting everyone to the dangers of cap and trade programs proposed for America and how they will affect data centers. Rest assured, Stephen has not taken an anti-environment staff but he is truly angry at the passivity he sees in industry's response to cap and trade. Other leaders, like Mike Manos of Digital Realty Trust, have also tried to warn of the risks associated with bureaucrats developing regulations without adequate input. DatacenterDynamics invited Zahl Limbuwala, chairman, Data Centre Specialist Group, BCS to address the meeting in Chicago, and they hosted two other sessions on the topic, so it is doing its part. Plus Worn's outsize personality makes him an ideal rabble rouser and devil's advocate. Worn specifically warns that data centers will not be able to simply passalong the expenses associated with cap and trade, and says that thinking we can is myopic.
Still, I can't help but note that the program title "Carbon: Risk or Opportunity?" leaves plenty of room for some to benefit from new carbon legislation while others are hurt. To my eye, the industry remains fragmented because it so often serves as a vehicle servicing verticals having very different interests, and it may always be so. This suggests that cap and trade may be a boon to some, particularly vendors whose products and services contribute to reduced emissions enterprise wide or to companies willing to manage carbon risks. Worn tells particularly informative stories about how companies in England have schemed to offload to third-parties to the benefit of both. He advises that loopholes in a U.S. could result in similar problems affecting our data center operations.
It remains important to separate a company's lobbying efforts from its educational efforts, and large companies normally do a pretty good job of separating technology issues from technical issues. In that regard, I lauded Mitsubishi's September sales event a few weeks ago. That event was fun, too, as the national reps attended a pre-season NFL game.
Raritan and PTS Data Center Solutions have also tied their educational events to professional sports. Next week, the two companies have combined to mount an educational seminar at Newark, NJ's Prudential Center, which will be followed by an NHL Devils-Capitals game. Seats were still available as of today, Friday, October 23. Earlier this month, the two companies hosted an event at the NFL's NY Jets practice facility. And while events like this are fun, they do highlight the measures that companies are willing to take to provide education and training. Ok, and sell a few products too. I try to attend a few training events every year, so please look for me and tell me what issues affect your operation.