Hello to all Mission Critical magazine fans and fellow bloggers, my name is Tim Oergel and before I share a bit about me, I would like to say ‘Thanks’ to Kevin Heslin for the great work he’s done thus far, and for the kind invitation he offered me to write on the new blog section of the website. I’m really looking forward to sharing some thoughts and ideas with you in this venue! Most of my career in the power generation has been in tandem with some other hobby, project or mission.

For example, when I was younger, I had spent several years on active duty, and when I had transitioned into the National Guard, I started my ‘civilian career’ working in sales positions that centered around engines, which ultimately led to my involvement with project managing and selling power systems. One of the hobbies that I took on was being a full-time student. I’ve always been told by my father that “you need to keep focused on getting that degree.” I finished my BSOE degree while working for a Caterpillar Distributor, then kept going on for the rest. My thinking was that I would land the corner office job someday, but what I had learned about myself was that I really enjoyed the power generation industry serving in sales and marketing roles. The middle years of my career had provided me with valuable experiences by working in sales and marketing positions at various OEMs.

Now, I still feel that I’m at the middle years of my experience, but my reading glasses and graying hair may prove otherwise (LOL). Hopefully, we all can learn and have “Fun” like Kevin suggests with this new blog! During the past several years I’ve replaced my ‘attending school’ as a hobby to providing leadership training for small businesses and aspiring professionals looking for the office of CEO. I’ve managed to migrate lessons gleaned from over a quarter century of career experience into my consulting firm, and the culmination of my power generation experience is being used to help people in the data center market. In the 1940s, people could purchase tickets for an entire season of football for $1.65…that won’t even get you a bag of popcorn nowadays.

Think about how this would look by comparison to the cost of designing and building for data centers with a 20-30 year life cycle in mind? So, what if we had a group of our industry-professionals teamed up and traveling the world looking for legacy enterprise data centers, and then provide them with the latest and greatest in PUE, technology, metering, etc? Perhaps the emotional aspect of the show Extreme Makeover – Home Edition, which expert designer Ty Pennington has done for the past nine years would be missing from this adaptation, but think of the significance of the impact that this concept would have in preparing the next generation of DCs! When you consider that this newly formed team would go through the process of needs assessments from everyone ranging from the Owner and CFO to reconciling those requests against the special requirements suggested by the Operations, Facilities Engineers, Vendors, Equipment Suppliers, Contractors, etc., it could make for quite the story!

Looking at the way we currently view trends in our DC environment…raised floor vs open…hot and cold isle containment, chillers, generators, rack power density, and many other variables, who will be the next one to put all of these trends toward a unified systems approach? Perhaps the customization approach is the best methodology to successfully provide the next level of DC Optimization. Within the framework for some of our Extreme Makeover Data Center Edition’s episodes, we can imagine feature stories that explore important data center centric issues. For example, we could be looking at expenditures through the lens of the CFO, our 'Financial Fronts' storyline (e.g. the CAP EX and OP EX budgetary considerations for our data center projects) may be the main topic for this episode.

Understanding that most DC’s are heavily front-end loaded with upstart capital equipment costs, and today, usually these entities are funded through PE (Private Equity) or VC (Venture Capital) firms, but what would the business complexion look like if something unique was discovered that changed everything? What if there was a new device designed that plugged into the wall and provided clean power and had no exhaust emissions? Let’s take the fantasy a bit further and ask what if straightforward lending institutions such as banks took on more of a major role in underwriting these projects? How would that affect the number of new startups?

Would more DC operators upgrade their equipment to keep up with Tier aspirations? The ‘What if’ is the core of this blog’s message. Next time we have a site evaluation, we can move into the rigors of strategic deployment and design, and keep our minds open to include another ‘What if’ look at the future of white space design! In my opinion, and in many ways, Mission Critical magazine acts as a catalyst that actually fosters our industry professionals to form ‘What if” ideas, and form collaborative relationships to enhance the future of data centers in a manner much like our rendition of Extreme Makeover – Data Center Edition!