It is a truism that Washington, DC, shuts down for the summer because its hot and sticky summer weather is just so uncomfortable. For instance, Congress historically takes a lengthy summer break. Yet, in times of crisis the Congress will convene special or emergency sessions. Earlier this week, the House met to consider a $26 billion stimulus appropriation. I know about this extraordinary session because Congressman Charlie Rangel took a note of personal privilege to defend himself against ethics charges. A few days later, he was back in New York at his gala birthday celebration. By week's end, the special session felt like business as usual in Washington to me.

Not every industry is the same, however, so I'm expecting that the DatacenterDynamics meeting to held in the capital to be unusually productive by that city's standards. First off, business as usual for DatacenterDynamics includes excellent speakers, great opportunities to view technology, and a very well organized event. Second, the datacenter industry never takes off--even in the summer.

Still, this year's Washington DatacenterDynamics promises to be extraordinary and special, verging close to being an emergency session because it is imperative that the industry respond to federal plans to consolidate its data centers and to make increasing use of the clouds.

DatacenterDynamics organizers note, "With President Barack Obama's recent memo endorsing Federal CIO Vivek Kundra's plans for government data centers, the race is on to submit final data center consolidation plans to the Office of Management and Budget for approval by August 30th.

"But what happens in the meantime? Looking forward, how will government agencies balance the requirement for consolidation with current operational needs and existing plans for infrastructure upgrades without risking service disruption?"

This August 31st meeting, which will be held at the Renaissance hotel, will be a tremendous opportunity to influence the final shape of federal IT operations and the interim steps along the way. In some ways, sharing best practices with the many federal data center operators can be considered a form of national service. It is essential that the feds get this right because of the energy, IT, and security consequences of this initiative. To meet its new IT commitments, it is important that things not slow down, just because it gets a little hot in the summer.

What was it Harry Truman would say about it getting too hot in the kitchen?