I'll be at the 7x24Exchange next week in Boca Raton, FL, where I will be looking forward to meeting as many people as possible, finding out what's new in the industry, hearing some terrific speakers and panels, and enjoying the organization's legendary hospitality and networking. 

I'm especially looking forward to Monday morning when I will be moderating a panel discussion entitled Managing Data Centers in Turbulent Times. The event runs from May 31-June 3. Please consider attending.

Event organizers and I have assembled a terrific panel:

John Samanns, principal, Vanguard

Glen Neville, director, Deutsche Bank AG

Jim Smith, chief technology officer, Digital Realty Trust

Rich Werner, senior director Facilities Management, Comcast

Dan Costello, director of Data Center Research, Microsoft 

I know I am looking for what they have to say about how to cope with the uncertainties of today's economy.

I expect we'll be dealing with the seven questions listed below, plus others, and many from the floor.

1. When the turbulent economy changes our businesses unpredictably, how do we respond? Keep in mind that we may have to prepare to close a business, undergo federal or state audit, merge with a business or acquire one, or just downsize? 


2. How important is extending the life of existing equipment and IT platforms? How can this be accomplished? When have you exceeded the limits of the useful life of equipment?


3. How can I get more productivity from my current staff? Do I need to outsource, take advantage of SAS, or go to a colo?


4. How does the turbulent economy affect the data center's value proposition? Do I need to alter the economics of my arguments if I need to meet unanticipated demand that causes me to bump up against space, power, or cooling constraints?


5. Is it always necessary to postpone planned IT projects, including those involving consolidation or virtualization?


6. Are there easy cost-saving strategies that are less than obvious? How can I easily identify and pay for these?


7. Can I still propose green data center projects?