NCTA Emerging Tech + Trends Event Addresses In-House or Outsource Data Center Needs

NCTANCTA ( North Carolina Technology Association) had its latest Emerging Tech + Trends event at the Sentinel Data Center facility in Durham this morning. For full disclosure Peak 10 is a sponsor of this series but since we are talking about our ‘competitor’ it all comes out in the wash, right 😉 ?

The event was titled “Next Gen Enterprise Data Centers – Build or Outsource?” and the panel was a group of local ‘heavy hitters’ which included:

Paul Hines, VP Operations & Engineering – Sentinel Data Centers
Jo Abernathy, CIO – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC
Joe Freddoso, President & CEO – MCNC
Enoch Moeller, IT Site Leader – Google
Billy Willis, CTO – Duke University Health System

The panel was well run and the information that was shared was very interesting with a few of the highlights being:

Jo Abernathy – Warning against what is sold and the actual delivery disconnect which occurred between her and her current outsourced provider (who I won’t name here but let’s just say her comments were less than flattering and included the words “they are learning on our dime” ……. ouch)

Enoch Mueller – Although these are not his words his sentiment through most of this event was “We are Google and we exist on a higher plane than the rest of, well, everyone and everything. Heck, he’s right so who can blame him?

Billy Willis – Honestly I don’t remember much that he said but I do remember that he was really funny and he seemed really, really smart. He did say that, in his case, strict co-lo with no managed services was the only way for his organization to go.

Joe Freddosso – Joe comes from another environment where he works with school systems in NC and helps them gain economies of scale that they cannot get otherwise. He is really trying to serve the greater good and I appreciated his passion around his mission.

Lastly, all seemed to agree that the cloud has its place but the zealous selling of the services and the promises offered should be assessed carefully by perspective buyers. I agree. It’s not for everyone and everything but it DEFINITELY has its place.

All in all, it was a very good event. I was not allowed to tour the Sentinel facility (for obvious reasons that I respect completely) so no report there but I will say that if I dropped food on the loading dock floor (where the event was held but it’s much nicer than it sounds) I would be cool with the 5 second rule. The place is new and clean.

We’ll see where next year takes us with NCTA and see how cloud adoption goes in 2014 and how larger players approach the concept of having an in-house data center or outsourcing.