Data Centres Europe 2011 Nice

Data Centres Europe 2011Last week I attended Datacentres Europe 2011 that was held at 5-6 May 2011 in Acropolis, Nice, France and organized by Broadgroup. In its seventh edition, this European summit is for senior IT executives, analysts and vendors to network, discuss and learn about the latest developments in data centers. A great event, featuring 85 speakers with 550 delegates from about 30 countries.

In his opening address Aaron Davis of Schneider Electric stated that data centers are vital to tackling environmental issues. He said that “We must decouple our growth from our energy consumption.” Mr Davis also said that, by centralising data processing, data centres were increasing energy-efficiency. In coming years, technology had to decrease its carbon impact by a factor of 10 to offset the effects of population growth.  Aaron Davis ended with the statement that “Data centers will be a major part of the next stage of human evolution.”

In the presentations and the panel discussions there was much emphasis on the following topics:

  • Energy consumption, Sustainability and Green in the Data Center
  • Cloud computing and the impact on Data Centers
  • Data Center business models
  • How to build flexible, scalable and modular Data Centers

Like last year a lot of speakers made a note or remark in the site line that there are still gaps between IT and Site  infrastructure people and that it is mandatory that those groups are aligned.

Also some explicit remarks were made about the consequences of the enormous growth in mobile/handheld devices such as smart phones, tablets and the lot. Referring to the fact that Metcalfe’s law states that the value of a communication network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). Therefore the value of these devices for people will continue to rise and therefore also the need and usage of these devices. The data center will act as the man in the middle, because all lines of the network comes together in the data center. This will give an enormous rise in the demand for data centers.

Some speakers made the observation of the mutual interest between data centers and the smart grid a topic that will certainly get more attention in nearby future.

Notable missing discussions were e-waste  and data center life cycle management a form of Energy Accounting, the approach of measuring and analyzing energy consumption of the total
life cycle from the data center conception, through design and manufacture, to service and disposal.

The first day of the conference also the European Commission Code Of Conduct Special Awards were announced by Paolo Bertoldi of the European Commission Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability. The European Commission’s Code of Conduct (COC) on Data Centers Energy Efficiency is a voluntary code that organisations can endorse, committing them to implement measures to reduce energy consumption. The code is now established as the definitive industry practice for reducing carbon emissions by Data Centers and has been widely adopted with more than 122 endorsers.

As follow up the Data Centres Europe 2011 Awards will be hosted the second of June at the Gibson Hall in the City of London.

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