What is a Leaders Lab?


AFCOM Leaders Labs 
are a series of regional workshops comprised of data center professionals who explore ideas and develop solutions to the most critical issues impacting data centers today. In the process of the workshop, which is led by an expert advisor, the attendees provide real-world experience and guidance in solving these issues and contribute to a whitepaper that is written by a professional writer. Each attendee is identified as an author of the whitepaper, which is ultimately released at Data Center World and published on the AFCOM website. Some of the topics we tackle include: 

•         Big Data/Machine Learning
•         Disaster Operations/Recovery
•         Energy Crisis/Energy Efficiency
•         Hybrid Cloud Architectures
•         Internet of Things
•         Data Center Security

These are exclusive gatherings of hand-selected thought leaders driving innovation, education, and advancement of data center technologies, the culmination of which is shared with the industry via the comprehensive whitepapers outlining recommended solutions to challenging problems.

This year's Leaders Labs are all being conducted virtually.  Their work will be shared with their peers during a keynote session at Data Center World 2021.  The attendees become part of an exclusive group that continues year-round to share ideas through a gated LinkedIn group, and ultimately meet up at the annual Leaders Lab Alumni Reception at Data Center World.

This year's dates and topics are: 

DATA CENTER OUTFITTING AND ENERGY PLANNING FOR OPTIMAL BUILDING PERFORMANCE

October 22, 2020 | 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET

Whether you’re dealing with a legacy design or mapping out a new facility, it’s imperative your mission-critical building facilities will provide optimal opportunity for your data center to operate at peak performance and efficiency. Careful planning of the design of operational systems such as the power grid, cooling, redundancies, environmental considerations, and climate controls is as important to the success of the business as oversight of compute, storage, and networking. As the data center evolves more and more beyond the traditional on-premise raised-floor design, you need to be prepared with an ongoing design and planning strategy that adjusts with your data center’s and building’s operational needs. In this Leaders Lab, our expert advisor will work with attendees to help them not just understand how to establish sure-fire plans for known conditions, but also plan for making adjustments to critical facilities on the fly as conditions change.


Sponsored by:


THE ROLE OF HYPERSCALERS IN YOUR DATA CENTER STRATEGY

Date & Time TBD 

As the growth in real estate and workload capacity commanded by hyperscale data centers continues to explode, traditional data center operators – especially in certain geographical regions – need to determine how the hyperscalers may fit into their own broader data center design and strategy.

How do the likes of Google, Switch, and Equinix impact your own company’s data center approach? Do they become stronger partners able to help local companies achieve economies of scale, or do they increasingly become competitors as they suck up available real estate and workload capacity? In this Leaders Lab, our expert advisor will work with attendees to understand where the hyperscale market is headed and what kind of impacts – good and bad – they can have on how traditional data center managers operate their own workloads.




BUSINESS CONTINUITY AND DISASTER RECOVERY BEST PRACTICES FOR MAXIMUM DATA CENTER UPTIME

Date & Time TBD

As data center workload demands continue to skyrocket, your business success depends on keeping the data center running efficiently. The slightest disruptions to performance are having a greater impact on business today than they did even a couple of years ago. How do you maintain business continuity with effi cient failover and redundancy, and, in the event of an inevitable disruption, how do you best recover from failures? In this Leaders Lab, our expert advisor will help the attendees understand the latest technologies and processes that will help you achieve maximum data center uptime in a more demanding business environment and provide you with new best practices for disaster recovery planning.




THE DATA CENTER BALANCING ACT FROM THE CORE TO THE EDGE

Date & Time TBD

In our virtual Leaders Lab, we’ll be discussing best practices for using and integrating technologies from power to compute in a data center landscape that is quickly evolving outward from the core. We’ll explore strategies for managing complexity, integrating facilities design with IT infrastructure implementation, and building collaboration with all the stakeholders. We’re well past the days where legacy infrastructures – that is compute, storage, networks, software, power, and cooling – are designed and implemented individually in the data center. That kind of approach no longer is feasible to meet the growing demand of enterprise applications and the explosion of data in today’s business. Understanding how to balance the requirements of all of the components in real time for a highly scalable data center will enable your businesses to grow and deliver for customers at the pace they demand.




DATA CENTER WORLD 2021

Exclusive Global Gathering

All Leaders Lab alumni will be invited to a special networking event at Data Center World. Results of all Leaders Labs whitepapers will be shared at sessions at the conference.

More than 1,800 data center, facilities and IT infrastructure professionals will gather for Data Center World 2021. Unique to the industry, the Data Center World conference draws upon the knowledge and experience of the more than 1,500 AFCOM members, the association for advancing data center and IT infrastructure professionals, to create an end-user driven agenda that focuses on real solutions for today's key challenges.

Download Leaders Lab Whitepapers