InMission Critical’sJan/Feb issue, Bruce Myatt (Zinc Whiskers, p. 22) provides a concrete example of the data center industry re-inventing the wheel. We all know the industry has a tendency to do this because of its “uniqueness.” Chris Crosby said as much to Andy Lane (see Talent Matters, p. 6).  Rarely, however, does someone take the time to point out what we’re reinventing and how copying someone else’s proven formula could save us energy and money. In his well-written column, Bruce looks at both these issues and points at a roadmap we might use for our next generation of cloud-friendly facilities.

Best yet, the roadmap he’s following belongs to a very closely related field: high-performance computing (HPC), so the techniques we could borrow are relatively familiar and were developed to address three of our main current problems:  lack of space, lack of power, and lack of cooling.  And so, borrowing HPC solutions should be relatively easy and comprehensive.

Bruce and a distinguished panel expanded on this idea in a panel hosted by the Critical Facilities Round Table at this week’s TeladataTechnology Convergence Conference (TCC).  The panel, which included Bill Tschudi of Lawrence Berkeley National Labs (BNL), Anne Marie Bailey, program facility manager at  Lawrence Livermore National Labs, and Norm Ringold, head of IT Operations and Infrastructure  at the SLAC National Accelerator Lab, was the strongest session I attended—and their were many good ones.  Bruce did well in getting to supercomputer owners to talk so frankly about their facilities and the challenges they faced in retrofitting older facilities to house dynamic supercomputers.  The question and answer portion of the event suggested that the audience understood the parallels.

Lucky Mission Critical readers will be learning more about this approach, in both our forthcoming issue and the one following, as Bruce has devoted two columns thus far to explaining the idea to our audience.

Teladata is to be be congratulated not only for supporting this CFRT panel but also for the rest of their event.  With more than 500 attendees, this annual event is usually one of the year’s largest but also one of its best.

Keep an eye out for some video coverage of the event too.