Wednesday night’s Steel Orca event at Bobby Van’s restaurant in lower Manhattan proved a very illuminating evening. First, the food and drink were terrific (see photos elsewhere on the Mission Critical home page). Second, I had the opportunity to roam lower Manhattan with time to kill and absorb some of the many changes since I last worked on Wall Street in 1999.

Much has happened since then, of course, including the 9/11/2001 terror attacks and the more recent Occupy Wall Street protests. Still the levels of security on the local streets shocked me. I remember the walk from the IRT Lexington Avenue line at Trinity Church to 120 Wall being rather pleasant in nice weather, if I wasn’t running too late. Now it is an obstacle course.

Regulars tell me that the barriers and bomb-sniffing dogs are a regular feature of the area, only buffed up because of the nearby protests.

Writing this two days later on Veteran’s Day, I find myself wondering whether our military heroes and war dead would recognize a place where we build barriers to protect ourselves from ourselves. I guess, though, it has always been so. Thomas Jefferson reportedly said, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

Third, the Steel Orca event itself provided some terrific information. Speakers from Tyco, ABB, Gilbane, and Jones Lang LaSalle offered presentations that included good information that would have benefited a larger crowd. My personal favorite was a presentation by Kfir L. Godrich, vp and managing partner, Global Innovation Office of HP Technology Services.

Kfir began his talk by analyzing macro trends driving data center growth, including population growth, globalization, urbanization, and information explosion. He then examined six technology trends, paying particular attention to the cloud, before moving to the meat of his discussion.

Mission Critical plans to followup with Kfir to get him to detail these concepts fully, but he outlined a hybrid cloud solution based on multi-tiered hybrid facility design as the basis of a futuristic data center.

These facilities, he said, could provide:

·         Reduced Opex

·         Reduced TCO

·         PUE ranging from 1.2-1.4

·         Converged Infrastructure

·         HD cloud

·         Secure environment

Godrich said that the Steel Orca facility “in 2012, might be the revolution behind the NY metro area data centers market to allow strategic and/or flex CI, your Digital Utility.”

This last line, of course, is the marketing tag line of the new 300,000 square foot Steel Orca facility scheduled to open Q4 2012 in New Jersey. Long-time Mission Critical columnist Dennis Cronin is SteelOrca’s COO, so I expect we will be hearing more about the site.

In any case, the facility is worth watching closely, in addition to being “the world’s first and only digital utility center, Steel Orca will be Platinum LEED certified, In addition the facility has numerous power paths, including 380 Vdc, and makes use of numerous renewable energy sources.

What’s more, Steel Orca management will be opening this facility in a market that some have believed to oversaturated at present. Nonetheless, this facility offers every service and feature that enterprises headquartered in nearby New York City and Philadelphia have come to demand, making this a very interesting entry into the market.