Story image

Exclusive: ServerFarm CEO discusses data centre workforce woes

16 Oct 18

Recently we were given the opportunity to have a chat with ServerFarm CEO Avner Papouchado.

Given the breakneck pace of innovation in the data centre industry, there is no shortage of emerging trends, but Papouchado says the three biggest that are affecting today’s data centre are:

  • The rapid transformation of technology with the speed of network driving to 5G and requiring deeper infrastructure
  • The growth of IoT and anticipation of it delivering enormous amounts of data that will require both storage and compute
  • The need for edge computing or small data spaces everywhere to lower latency rates and provide IOT with the infrastructure it requires to deliver the information for the next iteration of growth

Not necessarily a trend but certainly a much talked about topic is that of gender disparity in the industry. Papouchado says ServerFarm is an advocate for change.

“ServerFarm is an equal opportunity employer who takes each candidate on their capabilities suited for each particular role. We are proud to have the majority of our staff qualify for minority status, though in basic terms we are constantly looking for the best person for the particular role,” says Papouchado.

“In terms of women in the tech industry, there are some great examples of women in C-suite roles in major global companies such as Yahoo, HPE, and Oracle. In order to build this level of interest in working in the tech field, it has to start at an early level with STEM programs being promoted in schools so that women understand they have a very important place in the technology world.”

Papouchado is confident the industry is going to be growing exponentially over the coming years with the massive amounts of data that will be collected via the IoT, and so in order to remain growth, is preparing a competent workforce.

“One of the great challenges facing the entire industry is that, on a technical side, there is an aging population (about 50 percent) of the industry with about 5 percent new hires who are working to learn the industry,” says Papouchado.

“One of the things that ServerFarm is doing is focusing on key characteristics of individuals, and we find that often former veterans have the skill set that is easily transferable to the data center environment. So besides a solid package, we also offer competitive income and training for potential staff to take the skills they have gained in other locations, such as the military, and repurpose it for a dynamic growing industry.”

In terms of the technologies ServerFarm is placing its bets on for the future, Papouchado says it’s more about the people using those technologies.

“ServerFarm has heavily invested in the further of data centre infrastructures as-a-service through our work with our people, our processes and a unique portal that provides deep insight into an entire global data center portfolio. We strongly believe that the success of this organisation is not the technology but the training of the people who will be implementing this technology,” says Papouchado.

“We choose to do this [invest in personnel] so we can offer our customers top-of-the-line teams to take the headache of running data centre infrastructure off their hands and let them focus on the apps of the future.”

HPE extends cloud-based AI tool InfoSight to servers
HPE asserts it is a big deal as the system can drive down operating costs, plug disruptive performance gaps, and free up time to allow IT staff to innovate.
Digital Realty opens new AU data centre – and announces another one
On the day that Digital Realty cut the ribbon for its new Sydney data centre, it revealed that it will soon begin developing another one.
'Public cloud is not a panacea' - 91% of IT leaders want hybrid
Nutanix research suggests cloud interoperability and app mobility outrank cost and security for primary hybrid cloud benefits.
Altaro introduces WAN-optimised replication for VMs
"WAN-optimised replication allows businesses to continue working in the case of damage to on-premise servers."
DDN part of data mining mission on Mars
DataDirect Networks (DDN) today announced that it will be playing a role in one of NASA’s most critical missions.
Opinion: Data centre management can learn from the Navy
While a nuclear submarine may seem like a completely different beast from a data centre, the similarities in how they should be managed are striking and many.
14 milestones Workday has achieved in 2018
We look into the key achievements of business software vendor Workday this year
HPE building new supercomputer with €38m price tag
It will be installed at the High Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart and will be the world's fastest for industrial production.