What’s wrong with this sentence: Many of the almost 1000 people who attended yesterday’s Datacenter Dynamics Event in New York told me that they expected the event to fall short of last year’s record turnout because of the economy?
Having attended the event, I can tell you that doom-saying prognosticators were very wrong on two counts. First, the event set record attendance. Second, the mission critical industry is showing surprising resilience in the face of a bad economy, which is important in this era of collapsing 401(K) values.
Datacenter Dynamics General Manager North America Chris Collins went on record that this year’s crowd was very close to 1000, making it the largest of their group’s events in the U.S. Datacenter Dynamics CTO Stephen Worn said that the group had also tightened its restrictions on non-qualified attendees, raising the percent of end users to 80 percent and making the attendance increase even more impressive. I scanned the attendees and their badges after speaking to Worn; the event attracted a large audience of end users by any measure.
Second, I took advantage of the crowd to ask how the economy was affecting data center projects. And yes, I did hear from some about projects in some verticals that had been slowed or cancelled. But these responses were far outnumbered by anecdotes about a large number of projects that had been initiated and entered design stage or even beyond. No, these respondents said, construction had not begun on these projects; rather the projects were welling up as if behind a dam or door. Companies developed roadmaps to help them recover from turbulent times and were preparing to unleash them as market conditions settled. One attendee suggested that some federal funding had gone to agencies not normally fully authorized to meet their data center deeds.
I’ll soon be launching a video in which two Syska’s James Coe and Rob Ionna describe the good business reasons for building a data center in 2009. They covered a lot of this material in a very solid presentation and make a good argument about building conditions in today’s economy.
So those expecting that the economy would disrupt Datacenter Dynamics annual New York gathering were disappointed on two scores. First, a new attendance record was set, and second the folks I talked to describe busy planning, design, and engineering departments.
I'm looking forward to the group's next event, April 21, in Washington, DC.