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  • Richard M. Williams

ConnectThe2 Podcast Season 6: Ep 4 - Rich Miller, Data Center Frontier

On this week’s episode of the ConnectThe2 podcast, we are joined by Rich Miller, Editor and Founder of Data Center Frontier. Rich has more than 19 years of experience reporting on the data center sector. Prior to covering data centers, he worked in print media directing coverage of investigative journalism and enterprise reporting projects at daily newspapers in New Jersey. He joins the ConnectThe2 podcast to discuss trends in the data center industry, his love for storytelling and his passion for podcasting.

Here are the biggest takeaways from our conversation. If you like what you’re reading be sure to listen to the whole episode linked at the bottom of this page.

It’s an obsession that goes back 20 years… Rich has been fascinated with data centers ever since he made his first visit to one twenty years ago. He describes data centers as this other world where all of the technology that the internet enables becomes real in a physical way. He notes his appreciation for how much there is to learn about data centers, as they underpin so much of what’s going on in our world today.

“I’m happily obsessed with data centers, as there is a never-ending amount you can learn about them. They touch so many parts of the economy and there are many different things you need to understand about buildings, the business drivers and funding. You can learn everything from how a cooling system works to the finer points of real-estate investing. So, for an information nerd like me, it’s a great place to be.”

Houston, we have a data center…

Rich has toured hundreds of data centers throughout his career, but we wanted to know which one he considered to be the most interesting.

“There are a couple that come to mind because they are a little bit different from what you usually see. One of them was a facility in Houston, Texas, that cooled all of its servers using emersion cooling. They were put on their side and dunked in something that was very much like mineral oil. It was almost like the whole facility was full of these enclosures that looked like racks that were tipped on their backs and the servers would be inserted into them. It was filled with this fluid that took the heat from the servers that were running. They had to do some adaptations to make it all work, but I thought that was fascinating because it was a really different take on the traditional data center and it had a lot of innovation that presented some new opportunities and new ways of thinking about it.”

Skip to 9:00 to find out the second most interesting data center Rich has visited.

Another avenue to tell the story…

Rich is a fellow podcaster with his own show called the Data Center Frontier Show. The podcast, as you might have guessed, is about the data center industry and its future. We wanted to learn more about why Rich chose podcasting to tell this story.

“I love podcasts, and everybody loves podcasts nowadays. . . It has become a productive way for people to learn things and to gain information. To me, that is the bottom line. I have always been a writer, and I think of myself as a journalist. But what has been new in the past couple of years, is both in terms of video and audio. I have had to adapt to thinking about them as additional avenues to tell the story. That is always the bottom line because you have a story you want to tell. Podcasting has taken a little getting used to because writing a story in 15 minutes is easy but being effective in audio and video is harder than you think. I started this show because any number of people were creating data center podcasts, and if this is the way that people are learning about the industry and getting their news, then we have to be there. That was the impetus of the Data Center Frontier show.” Hear more... If you've enjoyed these takeaways be sure to listen to our full interview, linked below. Also, be sure to list to, rate and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeartRadio or Soundcloud.

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