The Green Grid: From a Generational and Global Perspective
It is truly remarkable to examine the impact within multinational organizations today, particularly when leaders from different generations rally together behind a common passion with the ambition to inspire, engage, and provide best-in-class thought leadership. This is precisely what is happening today at The Green Grid and will be highlighted in this post by Lex Coors, a global pioneer within the data center space and currently the chief data center technology and engineering officer at Interxion, and Jason Dodier, who has worked all over the world with APC by Schneider Electric as a strong millennial advocate of critical power and cooling technology. Currently, both are active leaders within the Green Grid and are proud to share brief histories in the following paragraphs around how The Green Grid's value proposition has impacted them, beginning with Dodier.
When I first moved overseas from the United States at the ripe age of 24, I was immediately confronted with a large scale data center build in the Middle East. Our customer needed to urgently upgrade ageing infrastructure while drastically improving total cost of ownership. The facility utilization was a paltry 40%, energy metering had not been implemented and virtualization was negligent. Similar situations would continue to present themselves during my international career regardless of region or country. From the mountains of Oman to the white city of Belgrade, and the Pearl of the Orient known as Manila, there was certainly no shortage of opportunities to be the trusted advisor on all things related to information and communications technology (ICT) for our valued customers.
Fortunately, from the beginning, I had the aptitude of leveraging our vast network of experts and visionaries, such as The Green Grid that are at the forefront of producing cutting edge frameworks and content that would model my thought processes and guide me through my most intense customer experiences. My ultimate objective was always to frame data center works of art in terms of sustainability, efficiency, and reducing operational costs. On its 10-year anniversary, The Green Grid has a strong worldwide presence of alliances, member companies, and individuals all with the shared ambitions to implement metrics and measurements for ICT resource efficiency.
Being a millennial with a deep passion toward energy management, I am privileged to be part of this core group of visionaries as we move into The Green Grid's highly anticipated second decade of existence. We will constantly seek to shed light on the technologies of the future that follow the Moore’s Law rate of enhancement; becoming twice as good roughly every couple years. Best in class organizations keep their fingers on the pulse of global markets while staying realistic to the ever changing dynamics of companies and professions that remain front and center to their core efforts. Giuseppe Mazzini once said “The world is advancing. Advance with it,” and that is exactly the core tenet of our message, striving to never lose sight of the various innovations and partnerships that await the next decade for our industry.
Aligned with Dodiers vision, Coors discusses his early days in the industry and the forward-thinking approach that he has brought with him, and which has remained at the heart of The Green Grid today:
I was working for Damen Shipyards ship deliveries in the early 80's when I was introduced to a concept invented by Damen Shipyards, “The Modular Shipbuilding.” Taking advantage of using only a few models of hulls for ships that were ready to be completed as a supplier, tug boat, patrol vessel, fisher ship, and for which you could select the modules directly and afterwards made me realize that this was the most ideal way of using capital when I joined Interxion in the late 90’s.
My task as rollout manager was simple: “Design and build as fast as you can 11 data centers in 11 countries within Western Europe." This was straightforward from a perspective of 11 and 11, yet the limited amount of CAPEX available was just enough to build these 11 to the standard from that time, which was 600 W/m2. On top of that, there was immense pressure to deliver in a timely fashion, presenting me with quite a challenge! I had always been taught to look back, harvest your history, and apply these values to today’s task at hand, hence I introduced “The Damen Shipyard way of thinking.” Take a 4,000 m2 building, divide it into phases, design it for future needs (e.g., 1.5 kW/m2) in such a way that you could build one phase initially at 400 W/m2 while adding capacity and phases resulting in no interruption to the customer service.
With this way of disruptive thinking in mind, it should not be a surprise that Interxion joined The Green Grid soon after it was established and supported the development of The Green Grid’s data center world changing PUE metric. Currently, we have a call to action in place for all sectors to come join us at The Green Grid where we are regularly working with governments and industry leaders to establish a global harmonization of metrics that will continue to increase data center energy efficiency, sustainability, and electronic waste programs.
During the last quarter of 2016, The Green Grid did it again with OSDA, a disruptive approach on how sustainable and energy efficient data centers should be designed.