Going Green at CAPRE’s Great Northwest Cloud Summit | Structured’s Craig Rhodes Talks the Potential for Data Centers to Improve the World
SEATTLE, WA — Craig Rhodes is Managing Director of Data Center Services for Structured Communication Systems Inc. (Structured) and an experienced professional actively engaged with various clients providing Data Center and Program Management consulting services. Craig has a unique insight into both Traditional and Cloud Data Center projects, Data Center Strategy, process improvement, as well as business continuity planning, and organizational resilience. Structured will be a sponsor at CAPRE’s upcoming Great Northwest Cloud Summit November 20. In preparation, we connected with him to talk about Structured’s perspective, the Pacific Northwest market, and the potential for the data center industry to usher in a green revolution.
Rhodes: Structured is an award-winning solution provider delivering secure, cloud-connected digital infrastructure. Founded in Portland in 1992, we are proud of our Pacific Northwest heritage and value the ingenuity, dedication and vision of this region’s professional IT culture. As part of our Data Center Services practice, we assist customers with all facets of data center strategy. Our aim is to help them streamline and compete in our global economy.
Structured’s data center services include facilities selection and contracting; design and deployment; migrations; and hosting analysis, strategy and consulting. Our core strengths in security, infrastructure design, managed services and cloud also enable us to help customers with business continuity planning, data protection and disaster recovery (including DRaaS), and application analysis.
CAPRE: We’re looking forward to seeing you in Seattle on November 20. What are you looking forward to about CAPRE’s Great Northwest Data Center Summit?
Rhodes: Enterprise customers need vetted and secure places to host their IT infrastructure. Very often, a data center migration or a build-out is a new experience for an IT team – perhaps something only encountered once a decade. As a result, these teams need help and trustworthy guidance from a partner who has everyday experience in this arena.
That’s what Structured brings to the table and is what we are excited to share. We’re looking forward to partnering with data center providers and enabling their customers to obtain success during migration, on-boarding, and ongoing management of the colocation experience.
CAPRE: Got it. How would you characterize the Pacific Northwest Data Center Market?
Rhodes: The Pacific Northwest has a great diversity of data center providers and infrastructure. Conditions are good. Many enterprises still manage their own data centers, thanks to the proximity of robust regional data center services with low latency – even in more rural parts of Oregon and Washington. In addition, there are many metro-area providers offering edge data center solutions.
CAPRE: What trends are you picking up on when you talk to customers?
Rhodes: Many customers who traditionally have had on-premises data centers are contacting us about adopting colocation services or Infrastructure-as-a-Service. As a result, we’re getting a lot of requests from customers who need help choosing a colocation space or an IaaS provider. We’re also very involved in data center migration services, including the process of decommissioning an on-premises data center post migration.
CAPRE: What kind of challenges are your customers facing? Why do they pick up their phones to call on your services?
Rhodes: One challenge that everyone sees in the industry is a scarcity of skilled human resources. It’s tough for any company to have enough IT professionals with the right infrastructure and information security experience. Those jobs are in very high demand. Our customers find that it is efficient and cost-effective to outsource professional engineering services to Structured.
Data center deployments involve a lot of carefully orchestrated tools and services, including a plethora of monitoring, visibility and logging software, but our customers may not have internal staff to support that. Leveraging and partnering with Structured, which has a deep engineering bench and project management skills across all IT disciplines, is a great stress reliever for our clients. It also makes a lot of financial sense for these organizations.
CAPRE: Tell us about the panel you’ll be moderating in Seattle.
Rhodes: This session will be great. I’ll be moderating the 1:15 pm – 2:00 pm panel titled “Going Green: How the Data Center Industry Can Lead the Way in Driving Development and Investment in Renewable Energy Projects to Help Dramatically Reverse Climate Change.” Svein Hagaseth, Chief Sales Officer at Green Mountain AS, will also be on the panel. It’s such a timely topic and promises to be inspiring and thought-provoking.
CAPRE: Why is this panel so critical at this moment in time?
Rhodes: The data center industry is helping to shift the global power generation mix. It’s driving development of solar and wind projects, such that the cost of cleaner energy is getting to be more advantageous than coal-fired power. And what’s happening, through an unintended consequence, are benefits to our environment.
The data center industry is making the planet a better place, and the more we do, the better. At the end of the day, economic drivers change the world. Companies need that benefit for their bottom line and to stay competitive. The fact that the data center industry is driving that benefit is a great thing.
CAPRE: Indeed. We’ll see you in Seattle, Craig!
Structured is a leading provider of information technology solutions and systems integration services. For over two decades, Structured has partnered with customers to deliver the level of innovation required to meet the goals for today while ensuring the solution is ready for the challenges of tomorrow.Based on a thorough analysis of the client’s existing IT infrastructure and the overall business goals and objectives, Structured draws on its two decades of experience to articulate a roadmap defined by market-leading process, security and management solutions that align with the client’s priorities. In addition to its unwavering commitment to providing excellent customer service, Structured is known for its expertise in the core areas of IT most critical to the success of its clients, including application delivery and virtualization, information security, data availability and enterprise networking.
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