IM Local Edition – Northern Virginia
70% of the world’s internet traffic flows through Northern Virginia (NOVA), making it the most connected place on earth. What better place for digital infrastructure professionals to connect, grow and give back!
The November IM Event in London was the first to combine the IM workshop format with a series of Lightning Sessions, a format borrowed from the UK Data Center Interest Group. That combined format was such a success that iMasons duplicated it in the first IM Event of 2018, held Feb. 27 at the Dominion Power facility in Ashburn, VA. We had a record registration of 76 digital infrastructure professionals. Most of the delegates were local but we also had people from Canada, the West Coast, and several states. Dean Nelson, iMasons Founder and Board Chair, and Jeff Omelchuck, Executive Director, were on-hand to support the event and busied themselves inviting the delegates to join iMasons by “pinning them” with an iMasons lapel pin. By the end of the event all the attendees were rocking iMasons bling.
Workshop #1 – DCIRN
Dean kicked off the meeting with a brief introduction to iMasons vision and values. We then jumped right into the first workshop, which started with a brief overview of the Data Center Incident Reporting Network (DCIRN) and put the delegates to work to provide iMasons and DCIRN feedback on the DCIRN concept and identify any concerns and improvements/ideas they should consider. Each group recorded their thoughts on a shared Google sheet and reported out. The output included:
- Need clear criteria, or a threshold, for reporting.
- Need better definition of what constitutes an “incident”, not just outages. For example, is a security breach an “incident”? Further classifications of incidents?
- Need standard reporting guidelines, and clear definitions of types of “incidents”
- Each participating organization needs to identify someone responsible for reporting incidents
- Liked identification of failures on the equipment side, but see value in knowing the manufacturer
- Ops side, it’s about training, ensuring the operators know how to interact with the equipment. An incident database would allow us to train to issues proactively
- Standard process should include the 3rd party commissioning report & images
- How do you address conflicting opinions? How is the truth inputted, analyzed, and audited?
Workshop #2 – Exploring Potentially Forming a NOVA Local Chapter of iMasons
Formed just over a year ago, iMasons has not yet really considered the possibility of forming local chapters. Some NOVA-area iMasons members have asked about that possibility, so the second workshop was focused on exploring the question “There are a few other organizations in the NOVA area with local members/chapters. What will make iMasons different? What is iMason’s unique value add? Ultimately, what would you want out of iMasons?” The group’s responses included:
- Like the round table discussions to better help share thoughts and ideas
- Have a scholarship fund for certifications
- An environment where I can learn that is absent (diminished) the “sales pitch” is valuable
- Create a mission statement around civic responsibility
- Maintain the workshop style events. Continued education overrides sales pitches from vendors and providers
- iMasons should be evangelists for sustainability in the data center industry. Standards need to be discussed for sustainability.
- Makes sense to have a chapter here – most dense data center area in the country – audience is very large
DCIG Lightning Sessions
After a great lunch, we launched right into a series of 7 10-minute presentations by industry thought leaders. Time was monitored strictly, and the NOVA brain trust did not disappoint! The 7 sessions were:
|Lightning Session Topics||Presenter||Company|
|Appearance and Other Community Issues||Buddy Rizer||Loudoun County|
|DC Development in Loudoun County, Accelerating Supply/Demand||John Kazantzidis||Digital Realty|
|NOVA Data Center Operations Technology Program||Julie Leidig et al||NOVA Community College|
|Alternative Go-To-Market Strategies for Data Centers to Reduce CapEx and OpEx||Matthew Koerner||Critical Project Svcs.|
|Unlocking Data Science for the Data Center||Michael Dongieux||MCIM|
|Managing PFA 70E Compliance as it Relates to “Hot Work” on Active Panels||Phillip Santori||Raging Wire|
|Impacts of Electric Utility Restructuring Bill Currently in Legislature||Stan Blackwell||Dominion Power|
The presentations are available to iMasons members on our collaboration platform, Causeway.
The day wrapped with a networking reception where existing connections were renewed, and new ones made.
It was a really successful and interesting day. We plan to continue this format for our next IM Local Event in London in April. Join us!
iMasons wants to thank the following organizations for sponsoring the NOVA IM Event. Net proceeds of IM Events go to the IM Scholarship Fund for students entering and currently in digital infrastructure training/education programs in order to increase the flow of talent into our industry. iMasons is committed to awarding at least 50% of the scholarships to women, as the most ready and available source of under-tapped talent.