The need for datacenter education in emerging countries.

<Cross-post with my DCP blog>

I recently had the privilege to travel to some of the emerging datacenter countries like Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa and some of the Asian countries.

While I was impressed with the deployment of mobile bandwidth & devices the conversations with datacenter owners and operators scared me. With more and more people getting internet access in these countries, the need for local datacenters also rises. Taking the time to really talk and listen to the stories of some of the local datacenter owners, it reminded me of the way datacenters were build and operated 10 years ago in most western countries.

Zooming in to the way these local operators and owners gather their knowledge, two things stuck me:

  • Most of them aren’t connected to industry groups or communities like Datacenter Pulse, 7×24 Exchange, Uptime Institute, etc… Sometimes this is a cultural or language barrier but most of the time I found this to be an awareness issue.
  • There aren’t as many industry conferences in those locations. It’s hard for conference organizers to get something going from a sponsor & revenue perspective. So where do local operators go to learn?

I think the larger datacenter vendors need to step up and take responsibility.
I think western datacenter owners and operators have a moral responsibility to go out and educate.

We need to send our Dr-Bob’s out and educate them on the benefits of retrofits of old facilities.
We need to send the industry leaders (either vendor or DC-owners) out and educate the emerging countries on the technical opportunities they have for the many greenfield projects begin run in those countries.

This way they know what technology is available before some of the old-fashioned datacenter consultants step in and copy-past our 10-year-old datacenter designs.
This way we protect them from mistakes we already made and they can leapfrog in to a brighter datacenter future.

I know this sounds idealistic be we owe that to these emerging economies, especially from a resource (like energy) efficiency perspective.

So if you have the chance to travel to emerging datacenter countries, take it. Share, lecture, educate, and try to protect the local operators and owners from making the same mistakes we made 10 years ago. They deserve that chance.

Believe me… it will make the world a better place.


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