Women in the Data Center

There are more women in the data center than ever before. “In 2015, women held 57% of all professional occupations, yet they held only 25% of all computing occupations,” according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in 2016, women in the U.S. occupied only 38.9% of jobs in data processing, hosting, and related services, despite an increase in the number of women graduating with graduate degrees in IT programs.

Between 2005 and 2011, institutions with IT programs issued more than 76,000 degrees to women, with increases among graduates at the master’s (19.7%) and doctorate (14.2%) levels, according to the Institute of Education Sciences.

Many strategies have been suggested regarding increasing the number of women in quality tech positions, says the Workforce Institute. Unfortunately, as far as data center careers go, the dirty little secret is that, on a daily basis, workers in data centers have to lift heavy, expensive servers up and down, in order to do their jobs. As a result, many employers, consciously or unconsciously, hire young, strong, male candidates to fill IT engineer or tech positions. Likewise, women may not even apply for positions because they know that it includes tasks that are as physically demanding and as dangerous as construction site jobs.

What Does the Law Say About Lifting Heavy Objects?

As a general guideline, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in the 1980s, established a basic recommended maximum lift weight of 51 pounds applied equally to both men and women. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have both adopted the NIOSH recommendation. However, no federal legislation in the U.S. requires adhesion to the recommendation, leaving employers and employees with the responsibility of making decisions about lifting equipment in data centers.

To help physicians advise pregnant women, NIOSH established a Revised Lifting Equation (RNLE) to provide recommended weight limits (RWLs) for pregnant women in the workplace. Just as with the original recommendation, the federal government does not require compliance. It is the employee who must take the initiative to consult with a physician to establish a safe weight limit and negotiate assistance terms with her employer.

Should Women Apply for Data Center Jobs?

Lifting heavy IT equipment does not have to present a barrier to women, or anyone else, who would like to work in an IT job. Easy-to-use data center server lifts have virtually eliminated lifting ability as a hiring consideration.

Purpose-built server lifts maneuver well in the data center, and they eliminate the need to lift, hold, or support any piece of IT equipment that fits in server cabinets. Well-designed server lifts level the playing field and provide a tool that can be used universally by anyone regardless of height, age, or strength.

Aside from essentially doubling the pool of candidates (more than half the population are women), hiring women in the data center generates a number of advantages, according to a study, “The Case for Investing in Women,” by the Anita Borg Institute. The key advantages:

  • Improved Operational and Financial Performance. “Women have tremendous purchasing power. Organizations who employ more women in key roles are better equipped to meet the needs of the broader market, because women know what women want,” according to the Institute.
  • Increased Innovation. The ability for companies to innovate is a critical competitive advantage. Research has shown what should be plainly obvious – that the different perspectives of women produces a more fertile environment for new ideas and ways of thinking. According to research, women “bring valuable perspectives and approaches to the ideation process, resulting in more innovative solutions to complex problems.”
  • Better Problem-Solving and Group Performance. Diverse groups with diverse perspectives, compared to homogeneous ones, solve problems more efficiently and increase overall performance.
  • Enhanced Company Reputation. Those with aptitude in the tech field are in short supply and high demand. Having women in positions throughout the organization sends a strong and positive message to suppliers, customers, investors and prospective employees.


The pool of female IT graduates is growing and will continue to do so, as the enrollment of women in IT-related degree programs increases. Having the tools needed to hire women for jobs in a data center environment can benefit the overall business by improving company diversity, productivity, innovation, and image.

Federal regulations protect men and women equally, with respect to duties involving lifting IT equipment, and recommendations exist to establish fair policy. Lifting solutions such as server lifts now eliminate the barriers of physical strength and height that may have once prevented women from applying for data center technician and other positions requiring the handling of heavy IT equipment.

Introducing the SL-1000X Super Duty ServerLIFT

ServerLIFT is pleased to introduce the much anticipated SL-1000X Super Duty ServerLIFT, the latest addition to our server and IT hardware handling. With features specifically designed to enhance safety and efficiency, the SL-1000X™ ServerLIFT represents the future of advanced data center lifting solutions. The SL-1000X™ ServerLIFT is the only compact server lift rated to lift 1000 lbs., offering unrivaled lifting capacity without compromising maneuverability. Designed with a slim 24” base and side-loading capabilities, this state-of-the-art device smoothly navigates the narrow confines of a data center and aligns IT equipment precisely to either side of even the narrowest aisles .

ServerLIFT’s exclusive gliding shelf slides 6” towards the rack, for seamless server alignment the appropriate rack level. To further enhance positioning, the proprietary electronic lifting system brings equipment to the precise rack heights of up to nine feet with ease and precision. The dual-point stabilizer brake system prevents the lift from sliding or rotating during an installation to maximize employee and hardware safety. The unit’s selection of features allows just one user to safely move equipment, in todays advanced data center environment. Specifically developed for efficiency and ease-of-use, this sophisticated unit makes every install simple and safe.

With the addition of the SL-1000X Super Duty lift, ServerLIFT strengthens its position as the industry leader committed to providing tailored lifting solutions to fulfill the needs of data centers worldwide.


IBM, Data Center Design & Inefficiency

Like so many things taken for granted, data centers have a side to them that few people know of. IBM’s insight into their data center management and infrastructure comes across as interesting, puzzling and perhaps even absurd.

Data Center Design

According to IBM around 80% of data centers were created before the dotcom era. With almost three fourths of the number of data centers built before 1985, they are in need of rebuilding. This affects the duties of those responsible for data center design and data center management today.

We’ve come a long way from when Bill Gates remarked that 640K ought to be enough and looks like nothing’s enough going to be enough for modern data centers that are energy efficient, handle more information and keep it more secure than yesterday.

Don’t lose your cool

Paris Hilton’s patented observation “that’s hot” takes a whole new meaning in the world of data center design and data center standards. Data centers very easily lose their cool, and when they do, it has a very serious trickled down effect. Lost jobs and crashing stock prices are not uncommon effects of failure to keep data centers running at optimal temperatures. Hot doesn’t just affect server performance, but raises safety concerns as well.
IBM claims that more than 50% of energy injected into a data center is used for cooling. The actual computing gets only about 3%! These incredible figures highlight just how important and delicate the issue is of maintaining the optimal data center environment.

In an idle situation…

What would your boss say if you sat around doing nothing for 7 hours out of your 8-hour shift? Sitting idle is not for people, but for data centers apparently. In distributed computing environments, as much as 85% of computing capacity can just sit idle. This translates into wasting around $40 billion worth of supply chain. Not very efficient data center management.
What all data centers managers should take away from the above is the importance of efficiency. Increasing costs and green initiatives aren’t exactly making the job easier. But through automation, virtualization, and smart data center design, the elusive efficiency can be achieved, without blowing up budgets. With the right solutions you can boost data center efficiency and enjoy all of the associated benefits that range from cost savings to better customer experience.


Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)

Your Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)

In 2007, The Green Grid published its very first white paper regarding energy efficiencies in data centers. “Green Grid Metrics: Describing Data Center Power Efficiency” proposed the use of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Datacenter Efficiency (DCE), now Data center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE), as a means to enable data center operators to quickly estimate the energy efficiency of their data centers, compare the results against other data centers, and determine if any energy efficient improvements could be made. Since 2007 PUE has been massively adopted by the data center industry and is now used as a standard in measuring power usage. According to the Uptime Institute, the typical data center has an average PUE of 2.5, estimating that most facilities could achieve 1.6 PUE if the most efficient data center equipment and best practices were put into place.

Although PUE has greatly increased the power efficiency of data centers and made the industry more proactive in green energy practices, lately PUE seems to be more of a number to blast to the media then an actual account of the total energy consumed in a data center. Daily, the industry is bombarded with “my new data center’s PUE is one-dot-x” reports, but frankly no one really cares anymore. No longer is PUE a real account of energy efficiency, but more of a fabricated number that gives you bragging rights for a few days before the next newest, lowest PUE is announced.

As I said above, PUE is supposed to give you an account of what the total data center energy consumption is. But with the trend towards not including communication systems, security systems outside lighting, lunch rooms, restrooms, fire suppression, emergency lighting, basically anything fed from an energy source, into that number, your PUE is really just a fabrication to help you look like you have the lowest PUE on the planet. In essence it’s the industries popularity contest, your PUE can help you to win Prom Queen.

As nice as your PUE number may look, as low and wonderful as it may sound, and how popular you think it will make you, only you know if it’s really a ‘true’ PUE. If you’re willing to admit (even if it’s just to yourself and you never speak of it again…) what your actual total data center consumption is, then you can begin to properly manage the energy consumption in your data center. With that truthful little number you can start to develop an understanding of your IT’s performance per watt and embrace accurate utilization rates, bit traffic, storage, workloads, and clock cycles. When all is said and done, what really matters is your uptime, your ability to meet or exceed your SLAs and IT needs, and meeting your energy objectives.

So yes, PUE is great. It can greatly increase efficiency and help to increase your IT performance per watt per day. Go ahead and fabricate your number a little bit if you really want to be the “quarterback” of the datacenter industry for the day, but do everyone a favor, and please shout it from the roof tops with a report to The Green Grid or the EPA. I’m sure you can relate when I say, we are all getting a little sick of the constant news blasts and PUE noise clogging up our Google alerts. Spare us the “one-dot-x” headliners that bottleneck our email accounts daily and just report it the proper place.

May I suggest that perhaps we should all try and remember why data centers were built in the first place? I can guarantee the management of any corporate data center is probably more concerned with availability and IT performance, than a PUE number that would make them look “cool”, because that fictitious PUE isn’t what’s driving up profit and quarterly reports. At the end of the day, it can be summed up by this perspective from Steve Hassell, President of Avocent, in speaking about running data centers, “I may get yelled at about efficiency, but I will get fired over availability.”

ServerLIFT Expands into Asia Pacific Market

ServerLIFT’s New Distribution Channel in Asia PAC

ServerLIFT would like to take this opportunity to proudly announce our partnership with Datumstruct, a new technology distributor in Asia Pacific. With current distributors established in Canada, Australia and Europe, ServerLIFT has further expanded its global reach throughout the Asia Pacific market.

Recently being named to the 2012 Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest growing companies in America, we have experienced exponential growth on a global scale. ServerLIFT is positioned as an industry leader in datacenter server management solutions, consistently exceeding our customers’ expectations for top of the line products and solutions since 2002. While many U.S. based companies have kept their focus on service based products or imports, ServerLIFT remains among the roughly 1% of American companies who actively export products to other countries. Our partnership with key technology distributor Datumstruct leads the way for Server Lift’s expansion into one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

About Datumstruct

Founded in 1997, Datumstruct is a leading distributor and solution provider for Southeast Asia, with over 10 years of experience servicing the technology industry. Headquartered in Singapore, Datumstruct has established offices throughout the Asia Pacific, with locations in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, China and Hong Kong. Offering products ranging from IT infrastructure to audio and video connectivity applications, Datumstruct takes a holistic approach to the solutions and products they provide.

The New Google Data Center in Finland

New Google Data Center in Hamina, Finland

This week we decided to post a video about Google’s new data center build out in Hamina, Finland. This particular data center has created a lot of hype in the industry and we thought a lot of you would be interested learning more about this facility and how it’s data center design is using a sea water cooling system. It’s definitively an innovative approach. Let us know what you think.


ServerLIFT Visits i/o’s Phoenix ONE Data Center

Phoenix ONE Data Center Tour:

Recently some of the ServerLIFT team had the opportunity to visit one of the world’s largest data centers! Lucky for us, i/o data centers calls Arizona home and it just so happens that their Phoenix ONE data center is one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the world.

i/o 538,000 square foot monster facility houses more than 80,000 square feet of office space, allowing its corporate headquarters to conveniently reside at the same location, alongside the most advanced colocation space in the world. The rest of the 460,000 square feet are is covered by raised floor, divided into four data center “pods” and the facility as a whole has been awarded Tier III Design Certification by the Uptime Institute.

Besides i/o’s enormous size, Phoenix ONE boasts a number of really cool innovative data center design features.

The facility has its own on-site sub-station providing 55 MW of utility power and a huge array of solar panels on the roof.

To keep things cool, Phoenix ONE uses a thermal storage system, ultrasonic humidifiers, LED lighting, CRAHs (computer room air handlers), high-efficiency chillers, and sealed server racks.

Like most data centers, i/o is very concerned with their environmental impact and has taken measures to help make their facility as green as possible, down to their recycled car tire flooring.

To keep things safe, i/o secures the perimeter with automatic bollards and a guard station that is monitored 24 hours a day. If you’re lucky enough to get past the lobby, you will be watched closely by digital video surveillance and be subjected to numerous bio-metric and ID card screenings. Phoenix ONE is intent on keeping anyone who shouldn’t be on the premise out. And with that, our tour ended and we were back to the offices at ServerLIFT headquarters.



ServerLIFT Sponsors the NOC at Interop Las Vegas 2012

Interop Las Vegas 2012 –

ServerLIFT Sponsors the NOC

Since 2008, ServerLIFT Corporation has sponsored the NOC at Interop Las Vegas and New York. This video shows how the team at Interop uses ServerLIFTs to prepare for their show! For two weeks, some of the best and brightest engineers in IT gather at an uberGeek bunker in Brisbane, CA to assemble the most advanced temporary network in the world and use ServerLIFTs to rack and lift all of the equipment!


Extreme Makeover: Server Room Edition

Extreme Makeover: Server Room Edition


Happy Friday readers! I thought I would start this week’s post by telling you how thrilled I am to see comments starting to appear on the posts and watching our reader count climb! It’s great to know that we’re providing you with articles you find interesting or informative! I would love your feedback on the blog and what you would like to see talked about in the future, so don’t be afraid to leave a comment. After all, the purpose of our blog is to post about things and news that you want to read about!

With that said, this week’s Funny Friday video was created by Microsoft and is called “Extreme Makeover: Server Room Edition”. It’s a spoof on the hit TV show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” hosted by Ty Pennington and is pretty hilarious. If you like the TV show, you’ll find this video especially entertaining.

As always, have a safe and relaxing weekend!

Remodeling the Server Room

Image by By Harikuttan333

The Green Grid: Resources for Free Cooling

Free Air Cooling is Catching on in

The Data Center Industry


It seems that everyone in the data center industry these days is looking to find the most efficient and cheap way to run their facility. It makes sense when you think about it. Why spend more and narrow your profit margin, when you could be actively seeking ways to reduce the cost of keeping your server farm efficiently up and running. With reducing project budgets and more economic pressure, data center management are considering all savings opportunities and free cooling is one of them.

Data center industry leaders are leading this trend.

EBay is currently running their data center, Project Mercury, in Phoenix AZ, at industry high temperatures of 80+ degrees Fahrenheit and is still able to maintain a PUE of 1.046 when the desert sun spikes to a scorching 115+ degrees. Project Mercury uses warm water to cool the facility and in a case study released by The Green Grid, was able to show that this method of high temperature cooling is as efficient as running data centers at cooler temperatures.

Facebook’s Prineville data center in Washington St. and facility in Sweden were both built to use 100 percent “free” cooling and have also both been very successful in keeping low PUEs. Google’s data center in Belgium has no chillers and simply relies on the cold temperatures of the climate to keep their servers cool. The facility only relies on its backup internal air-conditioning on an average of 7 days a year.

As more data centers turn to free cooling methods, it is understandable that The Green Grid would update and release new free air cooling maps and resources. The updated Free Air Cooling Maps take into account new ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers) regulations and now include two new classifications of data centers and have expanded the range of allowable environmental conditions in hopes of encouraging more energy efficient practices. The updates maps are published in a white paper released by the Green Grid and graphically show the potential for free cooling, under ideal conditions, in any location in North America, Europe, and Japan. In addition to the maps The Green Grid has made it simpler for data center managers to calculate the estimated savings of free cooling by launching a webpage that has an easy to use free cooling savings calculator.

So as the data center industry continues to progress towards a more green and efficient way of operating, The Green Grid continues to stay in the forefront of these efforts by publishing and introducing information to help make sure the industry stays on the right path.


White Paper #46 – Updated Air-Side Free Cooling Maps: The Impact of ASHRAE 2011 Allowable Ranges-

The Green Grid- Free-Cooling Estimated Savings Calculator-

The Green Grid- North American Free Air Cooling Low Res Map – ASHRAE Class A2-

The Green Grid- North American Free Air Cooling Low Res Map – ASHRAE Class A3-