Telling the Story of Data Centers

Rich Miller writes about the places where the Internet lives, telling the story of data centers and the people who build them. As the editor of Data Center Frontier, Rich does in-depth reporting and interviews the CEOs, managers and data center professionals that are on the forefront of the data center industry and the cutting-edge of cloud computing. Drawing upon his 15 years of experience covering the data center sector, he provides news and insights on the key trends, facilities and thought leaders driving the next phase of the Internet’s growth.

In 2005, Rich founded Data Center Knowledge, the leading news site for the data center and cloud computing business. He built the site from a one-man startup into an essential resource hub reaching more than 200,000 data center professionals every month. Data Center Knowledge was acquired by iNET Interactive in 2012 and is now part of the Penton family of media properties.

Prior to moving online, Rich worked in print media for two decades, directing coverage of investigative journalism and enterprise reporting projects at daily newspapers in New Jersey. He also served as Business Editor, Religion & Values reporter, and newsroom technology director during his time at The Home News and The Trenton Times. Rich started his journalism career on the sports desk at The Princeton Packet group.

When not visiting data centers, Rich works on renovations to his home in Lawrenceville, NJ and enjoys spending time with his two college-age sons.

Moving on From Data Center Knowledge

Today I’m wrapping up my time at Data Center Knowledge. For both myself and our readers, DCK has provided a gateway into technology’s inner sanctum, the buildings where the Internet lives, as well as an introduction to the amazing people who build and operate them. It has also served as my chariot for an amazing entrepreneurial journey, from founding through expansion and acquisition. I’m deeply grateful for the experience.

Data Center Knowledge has been the fulfillment of a vision – the idea that a single journalist could become a publisher to the world. It seemed like a crazy notion back in 2005, especially for a guy who spent two decades working in newsrooms backed by printing presses and fleets of delivery trucks. But the power of the Internet made crazy things seem possible.

Over the past 10 years, DCK’s coverage of the data center industry has reached more than 21 million readers in 241 countries around the globe, from the tech hubs of Silicon Valley to such far-flung locales as the tiny Pacific island of Tuvalu, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, and even Antarctica (yes, there’s a data center there).

The web site has grown along with the Internet industry, adding team members along the way. In 2012, Data Center Knowledge was bought by iNET Interactive, which in turn was acquired by Penton last month. This is the right moment for me to move on, and watch proudly as DCK continues to grow and evolve.

The good news: The Data Center Knowledge tradition of “all data centers, all the time” coverage will continue, with Editor in Chief Yevgeniy Sverdlik, Industry Analyst Jason Verge and Content Director Bri Pennington leading the effort. They’ve done an awesome job, and I’m proud to hand off to them. DCK is in good hands.

I’m not riding off into the sunset (although I do hope to enjoy sunsets more often). My plan is to take it easy for a few months, spend some quality time with Colleen and then do something new. I’m still sorting out what’s next, but you can stay in touch via Twitter (where I’ll still be tweeting out links to the day’s hot stories) and on LinkedIn.

The best part of this job has been the opportunity to spend my days connecting with really smart people who are working on Things That Matter. On one level, data centers are just bricks and mortar and power and cooling. The bigger story is that data centers power the digital economy that is transforming our world and our lives.

Sure, the Internet delivers tweets and status updates and cat pictures. But data centers also provide the mission-critical infrastructure powering 911 systems, the financial markets, global payment processing and government operations. It’s a compelling story, and one that has a long way to run. Thanks for accompanying me on the journey thus far. There are exciting things ahead.

Data Centers Feel the Bitcoin Shakeout

Industrial mining operations’ margins have been squeezed by the recent collapse in the price of bitcoin. After soaring as high as $1,100 in late 2013, the value of a bitcoin has plunged to about $230. This has had a huge impact on bitcoin cloud mining, with some firms shutting down or halting payouts to customers.

How Supercomputers Can Transform Society

I’ve always wanted to cover the annual supercomputing conference, and SC14 in New Orleans in November turned out to be my opportunity. Here’s a look at the stories I wrote for Data Center Knowledge from the event.

  • You May Not Know It, But You Used a Supercomputer Today: Supercomputers touch our daily lives in a wide variety of ways. The scientific advances enabled by these machines transform the way Americans receive everything from weather reports to medical testing and pharmaceuticals. But many remain unaware of the sector. “We don’t do a good job communicating the importance of what we do to a broader community,” said Intel’s Wilf Pinfold. “There isn’t anything we use in modern society that isn’t influenced by these machines and what they do.”
  • Rise of Direct Liquid Cooling in Data Centers Likely Inevitable: Experts in high performance computing say more data centers will begin using liquid cooling for servers over the next three to five years, citing the increased data-crunching requirements of scientific research, cloud computing, and big data.
  • Iceotope Advances its Liquid Cooling Tech With New Design:  Iceotope and other vendors in the space are fueling a renaissance of sorts for liquid cooling in data centers. The idea of bringing liquid coolant directly to the source of heat in the server took a back seat to air cooling in the 80s, but has recently seen growing interest in the market.

Can the Sun Power The Cloud?

At Data Center Knowledge: A massive solar array in central New Jersey provides the daytime power for a server farm delivering online financial services for McGraw Hill. The 50-acre field of photovoltaic solar panels symbolizes a new phase in the use of renewable energy in data centers. Massive arrays can now provide tens of megawatts of solar power for companies (including Apple) that can afford the land and the expense. But some data center thought leaders argue that these huge fields are more about marketing than genuinely finding the best approach to a greener cloud. Read the full article: Super-Sizing Solar Power for Data Centers.