I just finished packing my bags for the Uptime Institute’s Symposium 2012. The Uptime Institute has long been a leader on the physical infrastructure side of the data center business, and the Symposium and its themes reflected this orientation. It was only natural then that 451 Research would do its best to build on the strengths of Uptime Institute after purchasing it. It was equally true that the Symposium would change—at least a bit—to reflect the interests of its new owners.

Some of these changes came to the fore last year, when the Symposium was held in the heart of the Silicon Valley in California. Long-time industry leaders like Andy Lawrence shared the stage with Pitt Turner, Bruce Taylor, and John Abbott. Ken Brill remained a presence, but experts from around the entire industry took some of the limelight. I’d expect this mix of personalities and perspectives to create some sparks.

In addition, 451Research broadened the perspective that the Symposium takes. With its wider interest in IT and enterprise, a 451 Research Symposium can bring together facilities and IT and begin the difficult task of bridging the divide between them in a way that some other groups cannot.

In contrast to other meetings, 451 Research also attempts to build on the outcomes of previous sessions. The industry often seems to have difficulty tracking its history of product and technical development, figuratively springing from innovation to innovation without ever really understanding how one new development truly differs from its predecessor or its potential for acceptance or market penetration.

The Symposium’s Thursday program, a session to share the findings of Uptime’s January 2012 Charrette, is one such session and so is Monday’s Uptime Institute Server Roundup Award Presentation. At this session, Matt Stansberry and Julian Kudritzki will recognize companies for taking a risk and retiring comatose servers.

I’m curious to see what other changes 451 will make in the Symposium, but I am confident that the group will continue to take chances with its program. Did I mention that Greenpeace’s Gary Cook will deliver one of the 30-min keynotes?