In his column in our soon-to-be-released Nov./Dec. issue, Gilbane's Dennis Cronin traces the 20-year history of the 7x24Exchange. Cronin's chronology begins with the founding of the Uninterruptible Uptime Users Group (UUUG), which he marks as a coming-of-age event for the reliability industry.
Today it is hard to to compile a list of all the industry groups purporting to represent some stakeholder group or advocate for some cause. Of these, I think only Afcom was established before the 7x24Exchange.
Cronin was a founder of the UUUG, and so he writes with authority about its founding. In the Nov./Dec. column, he says, "From the very start, the UUUG was bigger than the vision of just one or two people; it was the collective and sometimes contradictory visions of all the people who contributed their personal time, knowledge, and experiences. This culture of sharing binds the 7x24Exchange together even today....."
7x24Exchange stands in contrast to many organizations I have encountered over the years. It demonstrates its commitment to its mission through its willingness to give the microphone to individuals who could be characterized in some senses as competitors for membership, attention, and spotlight. It wasn't terribly long ago that Ken Brill, founder of the Uptime Institute delivered a keynote before one national meeting. Ken, as always, was brilliant and provocative, and the assembled members were wiser for the opportunity to hear Ken speak. To those who noted that the Uptime Institute also competes for conference spending as a way to fund its activities and achieve its mission, it could be argued that as a UUUG founder himself, Ken would be an exception.
Point taken, except that 7x24Exchange.org's Fall 2009 pre-conference sessions (Nov. 15-18, 2009, Phoenix, AZ) demonstrate that its commitment to its mission is real. There are two sessions that prove this point, one is led by Roger Schmidt and Don Beaty, past ASHRAE TC9.9 chairs, and the other by Dean Nelson, founder and chairman of the board of Data Center Pulse.
If ASHRAE is the granddaddy of reliability organizations then just as surely, Data Center Pulse is a grandchild.
7x24Exchange is to be commended for hosting representatives of both these organizations, for staying true to its mission, and for having the confidence to live up to its ideals. These characteristics serve 7x24Exchange well and very often seem to be in short supply.
I'm looking forward to joining them in two weeks. Hope to see you there.