Take a look at the image of a beautiful chapel in Barcelona, Spain. You would never image that inside that lovely building is one of the world's most powerful supercomputers. It is that unexpected contrast that helped to inspire Douglas Alger to write a just-published book called The Art of the Data Center: A Look Inside the World's Most Innovative and Compelling Computing Environments.
Alger is a former newspaper reporter who became an IT guy at Cisco. He now works as an IT architect in the Cisco on Cisco group, which shares the company data center experiences and lessons learned with outside organizations. He previously worked on the data center design and operations teams at the company. He also has written other books on data centers, including Build the Best Data Center Facility for Your Business and Grow a Greener Data Center, and writes the Data Center Deconstructed blog for Cisco.
While researching his book on green data centers, Alger came across some images of the Bahnhof data center in Sweden. "It looked sleek and impressive. It was a James Bond data center, with dramatic lighting, artificial waterfalls. I knew there was a great story to tell," he said.