Return to data center (idea)

A different look -- the data center is an [economics|economic] and [aesthetic] [paradigm] that just happens to be a [location|physical location].

[computer|Computers] and [telecommunications] equipment at the industrial scale need a number of [utilities|utility services] provided and it is cheaper to mass the equipment together and deliver these to one location instead of many. The information processing equipment of an [enterprise] requires delivery of the following services: [electricity], [refrigeration] and [climate control], [network connection|data traffic], operations staff, monitoring, repair and maintenance staff, [physical security], [SAN|storage/disk], fire detection and suppression, and air purity/filtration. Not all of these (monitoring, SAN connection, etc.) require [proximity], but there is an economy in sharing particularly when you consider the need for [high availability|fail-safe redundancy and rapid access] across the services.

Further, (and while this may sound [lame], it plays a critical role in corporate [Making decisions logically|decision making]) a big room full of row upon row of racked computers is a very nice [tour] stop for the [CFO]. This is also why [NOC|network operations centers] are often attractive, inefficient showcases as well (and may be located with the data center).

Data center [culture] -- the [dark side|darker side] of [information technology|IT]? …Nah

Over the years, I've worked and played in a number of data centers and talked to people who lived in several others. Some facilities were small ([wiring closet] would have been a better name) and some were large (39,000 square feet -- all for one enterprise). But pretty universally, the [professional] people who kept the data center operating were treated poorly. These people range from [tape monkey|tape monkeys] to [electrical engineers], [Tech Rep|repair techs] and misplaced [database administrator|DBAs]. Like any other cross section these people wildly range in their level of [competence] and degree of [geek|social skill]. But a [sysadmin] working in a data center earns less [money] and [respect] than the same person would (and does) if (and when) they work in an [office].

Also pretty universally, these data center staff engaged in what might be called by management, [data center games|egregious misconduct in the pursuit of fun and humor], typically with little concern for the consequences -- to either themselves or the enterprise. These people occasionally display amazing creativity in finding ways to pass time in a manner disrespectful of their employer.