If you're a datacenter owner, operator, or user looking for a place to interact with your peers, consider checking out a newly formed LinkedIn group called Data Center Pulse.
Though it was formed by employees of Sun and VMware, the group claims to offer a vendor-neutral, sales-free forum for "open, passionate discussion and debate around problems datacenter professionals are facing, directly."
The aforementioned founders of the group are Dean Nelson, senior director of global lab and datacenter design services at Sun, and Mark Thiele, director of research and development business operations at VMware. The two are only accepting members to the group whose job responsibilities include datacenter strategy, architecture/design, operations, efficiency, sustainability, or use.
In other words, salespeople, marketers, consultants, reporters, and so on may not be active members -- though they can propose questions for the group to tackle via e-mail.
"There are specific reasons why these rules for membership have been established," writes Nelson in his announcement about the group. "I have been involved with a number of groups, forums and online bodies that have attempted to tap into the different datacenter trends. The problem has usually been that they turn into individual promotion or company sales pitches."
Thus far, the group has around 117 members representing 77 companies from 13 different countries. Participants represent big-name companies from a variety of industries, including Apple, BT, Comcast, Dell, eBay, General Motors, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, and Yahoo.
Nelson says that the group's discussions won't be kept under wraps. Rather, "the threads generated in this group will be posted to datacenterpulse.com. All participant names and companies will be stripped from the threads to ensure our members anonymity."
In addition to participating in discussion through the online forum, the group will create podcasts about datacenter issues and hold roundtable discussions at pertinent events.