Chief Data Centre Technology & Engineering Officer, Interxion
Utilising data centres can be an effective business strategy to remove the costly elements of server management and maintenance. Businesses that have opted to store their servers in a professionally managed data centre have been able to free up budget to invest in growth.
With over 290 data centres to support businesses’ data management, Interxion has grown massively since its founding in 1998. The company’s Chief Data Centre Technology and Engineering Officer for EMEA and Visiting Professor at the University of East London, Lex Coors, has been with the company for over 22 years and has seen first-hand its explosive growth in the data centre sector.
Discussing his role, Coors outlined how he supports the company: “I'm responsible for all of the design and engineering of the data centres and the retrofits for the company. I also head up the whole sustainability and government engagement department for EMEA.”
“Designing and implementing the company’s energy efficiency programmes is also within my remit. It is my responsibility to make sure that we drive down the energy usage of our data centres,” he continued.
Having worked at the company since it was a start-up over two decades ago, Coors has had the opportunity to see how the company has evolved but did explain how the growth of the company has come at no surprise: “I realised that we were building a completely new economy, the digital economy, something no one had done before.”
Coors added: “You could see straight away that this company would grow, that it would be successful. Working in a start-up environment was exciting as everyone is enthusiastic and everyone is energised. All the people who joined the company at the beginning had such a willingness and determination to bring the company to where it is today.”
With his extensive experience working in the data centre sector, Coors has supervised the design and build of over 70 data centres and developed close to 600,000 m2 of gross space with over 300,000 m2 net space across Western Europe and Africa. Explaining how he strives to design the best possible data centres for his clients, Coors said: “In my work, I always come back to something I learnt from a man called Ken Fisher who wrote a book in 2007. In his book, he said the key to success is knowing what others don’t. It’s so easy to copy what others do if that’s working, but knowing what others don’t is what will really move the needle and change things for others as well.”
Keen to take experience from outside of his work life and apply it in his career, Coors explained how he is constantly learning and looking to better himself in his role as Chief Data Centre Technology and Engineering Officer. With his son, Coors has a Kung Fu school, and from his experience here, he has learnt that you can always learn from people -of any age. He keeps this philosophy with him in all his work.
He said: “You’ll be surprised how many times a young person in my class will raise their hand and say something I can really learn from. So when I'm in a room with people, I never look at titles or age, I just look to see what I can learn from them to better myself.”
“You always have to listen to learn and then you can develop yourself continuously. I’m against perfectionism because I don’t believe it’s obtainable. Things are never perfect, even a dot on a piece of paper. So I believe in continuous improvement rather than perfectionism.”
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We can't be very much more CO2 efficient because we have pushed the laws of physics to the point where you can't change physics.