Building a Sustainable Future

How does a Music Education major end up becoming an internationally recognized leader in datacenter efficiency?

In this #NomadFuturist podcast Kevin Kent takes us on an important environmental journey across the United States and around the world.

Music and arts were a big part of Kent’s childhood and he studied music education in college. He soon realized he would face a life of limited financial prospects as a music teacher and so changed directions. He did a stint in banking where he became aware of data centers and found that he was fascinated by the mechanical and electrical aspects of the industry. He ultimately ended up at Ohio State supporting the data center for the Wexner Medical Center where he worked for nineteen years.

Kent, an avid motorcyclist, saw first-hand the severe impacts of climate change as he traveled across the U.S. on vacations. He became increasingly concerned about the role of the data center as a contributor to the climate crisis.

This concern led him to found Critical Facilities Efficiency Solutions (CFES), a global data center energy efficiency and sustainability consultancy service whose mission is to create data-driven, cost-effective, environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions.

Phil, Nabeel and Kevin have a lively discussion about current data center trends. Kent talks about the challenges posed by an ever-increasing demand including issues of power usage inefficiencies.

We really have to start looking at where we are building our facilities, climate-wise, how close to the power generation source.” 

He discusses the tremendous growth in the APAC region and highlights Africa as the next frontier, with the most projected growth over the next decade.

Kent speaks about the impact of new technologies in achieving greater efficiencies and improved ROI, particularly machine learning which is seeing great results in the mechanical and electrical areas.

Kent also discusses the power of predictive analytics for facilities staff:

“You’re going to have insights into things that you’ve never had before!”

Kent’s advice to young people who may be considering a career in critical infrastructure:

“I think that the most important thing is to keep an open mind. Figure out what is important to you. Find people that you value and talk to them. Allow them to help you map out a plan.”

Kevin Kent, Founder & CEO of Critical Facilities Efficiency Solutions, is recognized internationally as a leader in data center optimization, sustainability, and energy efficiency. He has an affiliation with several U.S. environmental foundations and is a Climate Reality Leader. Kent serves on the international Data Center Institute Board of Directors and is a global trainer for DCPro, providing critical training and certification for the data center industry. In 2020 he was recognized as a global Top 100 Tech Innovator and Influencer as well as the London Edge Conference Innovator of the Year. He is an international keynote speaker and has been featured in many tech magazines, blogs, webinars, and podcasts.

Kent’s commitment to heal and protect our environment can be seen in many ways but none more visible than his donations to environmental foundations where thousands of trees have been planted as an incentive to data center owners who significantly reduce their data center carbon footprint. 

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